Translation of 水平社宣言 (Proclamation from the Buraku Liberation League) from 1933

This is an amateur (practice) translation of 水平社宣言 (Proclamation from the Buraku Liberation League), a statement issued by the 全国水平社 (National Buraku Liberation League) in the year 1933. It calls for solidarity and pride among the Burakumin, an ethnic subpopulation descended from a low-status pre-Meiji caste which was (and remains) the subject of discrimination and prejudice in Japan.

The source text is from Wikisource.


水平社宣言(全国水平社創立宣言)
Proclamation from the Buraku Liberation League (A Proclamation Drafted by the National Buraku Liberation League)

全国水平社
National Buraku Liberation League

1922年
Year 1922

綱領
Summary

ー、特殊部落民は部落民自身の行動によつて絕對の解放を期す
The special class of Burakumin resolve to attain total liberation by our own hand

ー、吾々特殊部落民は絕對に經濟の自由と職󠄃業の自由を社︀會に要求し以て獲得を期す
We, the special class of Burakumin, resolve to grasp economic and professional freedom via our demands to society at large

ー、吾等は人間性の原理に覺醒し人類︀最高の完成󠄁に向つて突︀進󠄁す
We must press forward, so that we awaken to our essential human natures and attain the highest degree of fulfillment available to the human race

宣言
Proclamation

全󠄁國に散在する吾が特殊部落民よ團結せよ。
We call upon our people, the special class of Burakumin, who have been scattered throughout the nation, to band together in solidarity.

長い間虐󠄁められて來た兄弟よ、過󠄁去半󠄁世紀︀間に種々なる方法と、多くの人々とによつてなされた吾等の爲めの運󠄁動が、何等の有難︀い効果を齎らさなかつた事實は、夫等のすべてが吾々によつて、又他の人々によつて每に人間を冐瀆󠄂されてゐた罰であつたのだ。そしてこれ等の人間を勦るかの如き運󠄁動は、かへつて多くの兄弟を墮落させた事を想へば、此際吾等の中より人間を尊󠄁敬する事によつて自ら解放せんとする者の集團運󠄁動を起󠄃せるは、寧︀ろ必然である。
Brothers who have suffered great indignations for a long time, the fact that the many efforts over the past half-century undertaken for our sake have not given rise to any meaningful results is wholly attributable to ourselves, and is divine punishment for the blasphemy that we have daily heaped upon others. Upon consideration of the fact that similar movements, seeking to urge people to act, have, contrary to intentions, led many of our brothers astray, we ought to this time form a movement which aims to respect humanity as a whole, rather than simply those among our brethren, and in doing so naturally achieve our own liberation.

兄弟よ、吾々の祖︀先は自由、平󠄁等の渴仰者︀であり、實行者︀であった。陋劣なる階級政策の犧牲者︀であり男らしき產業的殉敎者︀であつたのだ。ケモノの皮剝ぐ報酬として、生々しき人間の皮を剝取られ、ケモノの心臟を裂く代價として、暖󠄁い人間の心臟を引裂かれ、そこへ下らない嘲笑の唾まで吐きかけられた呪はれの夜の惡夢のうちにも、なほ誇り得る人間の血は、涸れずにあつた。そうだ、そして吾々は、この血を享けて人間が神︀にかわらうとする時代にあうたのだ。犧牲者︀がその烙印を投げ返󠄁す時が來たのだ。殉敎者︀が、その荆冠を祝︀福される時が來たのだ。
Brothers, our ancestors were men of action who dearly sought freedom and equality. They were sacrificed underneath crude, class-based policies, and martyrs of the working class. They were stripped alive of their skins, as one would skin a beast; their warm hearts were torn from their human bodies, as though tearing open the chest of a wild animal; but even in the midst of a horrid nightmare, in which contempt was spat upon them like evil curses, and the prideful blood of humans flowed unceasingly through their veins. That’s right; and now, we are in an era where humans, who have inherited this blood, seek to become gods themselves. The time has come for those sacrificed men and women to return the brand which was pressed upon their skin. The time has come for our martyrs to be celebrated with this crown of thrones.

吾々がエタである事を誇り得る時が來たのだ。
The time has come for us to be proud of being eta.1

吾々は、かならず卑屈なる言葉と怯懦なる行爲によつて、祖︀先を辱しめ、人間を冐瀆󠄂してはならぬ。そうして人の世の冷たさが、何んなに冷たいか、人間を勦はる事が何んであるかをよく知つてゐる吾々は、心から人生の熱と光を願求禮讃するものである。
We must absolutely not disgrace our ancestors and blaspheme against mankind through cowardly words or actions. And we, who know well the depths of humanity’s coldness and the depths of mankind’s despair, must seek out and rever the warmth and brilliance of mankind from the bottom of our hearts.

水平󠄁社は、かくして生れた。
The Buraku Liberation League (Suiheisha) is thereby born.

人の世に熱あれ、人間に光あれ。
May the world of man be filled with warmth, and may mankind itself shine brilliantly.

大正十一年三月
21st year, 3rd month of the Taisho Era

水平󠄁社︀
National Buraku Liberation League


1 “During the feudal era, the outcastes were termed eta (穢多, lit. ’an abundance of defilement’ or ‘an abundance of filth’), a term now considered derogatory. Eta towns were termed etamura (穢多村).” (From Wikipedia)

May 14th, 2023 | Posted in Japanese

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