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Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan

  • Kiyoteru Tsutsui

Dr. Kiyoteru Tsutsui is a professor of sociology and Director of the Japan Program at Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. In this video, Dr. Tsutsui provides an overview of the three most salient minorities in Japan and their political activism. He discusses how the concept of basic human rights led to calls for more rights for Japan’s minority groups. He then provides in-depth background on the Ainu, Koreans, and Burakumin minorities and their distinct paths toward seeking more rights and recognition within Japan.

A free classroom-friendly discussion guide for this video is available for download below. The discussion guide contains a complete transcript of the video and is appropriate for advanced secondary students and university students. In the discussion guide, students prepare for the video by learning about the three minority groups Dr. Tsutsui discusses and reflecting on how their experiences parallel minority group issues in their own country. After viewing the video, students analyze key quotes and explain how they provide insight into social activism in Japan and more generally.

The video lecture and guide were made possible through the support of U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center funding (to Stanford’s Center for East Asian Studies) under the auspices of Title VI, Section 602(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965.