• Abiko, Chiba

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Regarding Hidesato Sakakibara’s March 4 letter, “Myth of Japanese homogeneity“: Education minister Bunmei Ibuki may be “clueless” about Japan’s degree of homogeneity — but where did Sakakibara get the idea that the “Jomon” and “Yayoi” people were “races”? And in what musty anthropology tome did he read that the Ainu were primarily Caucasian?

In any case, while remarks attributed to Ibuki may be politically incorrect, they are not wrong in the context of his highly romantic political platform for a “conservation that reforms.” Japan’s heterogeneous population has in fact been highly homogenized by the education ministry and other agents of national unification since the late 19th century.

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