Racism and discrimination is a common, but not accepted, practice in most societies. The thing that makes the discrimination of the Japanese Burakumin so different is the fact that they are racially the same as all other Japanese. Discrimination of Burakumin has been going on for centuries. .
In feudal Japan, there was a cast system that was formed. There was the emperor, the feudal lords, samurais, farmers, artisans, merchants and a group called hinin. Hinin usually had dirty jobs like cleaning toilets or leather craft. Beneath this group were the Burakumin. A portion of historians believe that early Burakumin were most likely native Japanese tribesmen that were defeated during warfare and forces into slavery. The modern Burakumin are descendents of gravediggers, executioners, and animal slaughterers and of people who had other "dirty- jobs. They are excluded from normal social activity because of Buddhist law, which states people who killed and ate meat were impure. Today, the Burakumin make up about 2.5% of Japan's population. .
Officially, law has done with the Burakumin class away. However, people are still discriminated against for being a descendent of this original class. .
To this day, the segregation continues. This segregation led to the construction of numerous communities to house Burakumin. Most maps of Japan do not show these communities. The people who lived in these settlements were referred to as Hinin (non-people) or Burakumin. They were not allowed to converse with the rest of Japanese citizens. In fact, as recent as fifty years ago, Burakumin had to wear a leather patch so people would know they were Burakumin.
The Burakumin were not allowed to marry a regular Japanese citizen. It was strictly forbidden. The following is an example of what would happen to someone who married a Burakumin woman ""My parents said I could not have any relationship with them.