JAPAN: The Invisible Race

Burn, my son, with wrath.

Hate them all and despise them.

Until at last they come crawling

forward To apologize, tormented by

excruciating pains.

But never forgive them even then

—never.

Makoto Ikeue was 20 when he wrote that poem. Shortly afterward, he killed himself in the lovers' lane where he had often met the girl he made pregnant. Before Ikeue's suicide, the girl had an abortion because her family refused to let her marry him. Why? Because Ikeue was a buraku-min, one of some 3,000,000 "hamlet people," a caste-like group whose members have suffered...

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