Kaiho Rei (Emancipation Edict) opposition uprisings (解放令反対一揆)

Kaiho Rei (Emancipation Edict) opposition uprisings were incidents of riots and raids which broke out against Kaiho Rei in various places of Japan during early Meiji period. Those uprisings were then commonly called Eta (one group comprising the lowest rank of Japan's Edo-period caste system, people whose work usually involved handling human bodies or animal carcasses) hunting.

Such social status and naming as Eta and Hinin and the like (as well as acquisition rights of carcasses of beasts accompanying them) were to be abolished at once by Dajokan fukoku (proclamation of Kaiho Rei by Grand Council of State) on August 28, 1871. However some of those people who had discriminated them rebelled against this movement, and they caused incidents of raids on Burakumin (modern-day descendants of Japan's feudal outcast group) through uprisings. This is what is called Kaiho Rei opposition uprisings. Those uprisings occurred sporadically between 1871 and 1873. Satoshi UESUGI, Kozo NAKAMURA and others consider this period transition from discrimination of humble or lowly people to the outbreak of Buraku (hamlet) issue.

There remains records of incidents such as 2 deaths at Hiroshima Prefecture and destruction of 67 houses out of 70 at a Buraku in Kochi Prefecture in 1871, 4 deaths in Okayama Prefecture in 1872, 18 deaths in Okayama Prefecture and 64,000 people punished for arson in many cases in Fukuoka Prefecture and destruction of 3 bridges leading to a Buraku in Kagawa Prefecture in 1873, and others.

In the meantime, lot of influential shoya (village headman) satisfied farmers who were not given any legal education at that time through issuing a command that Kaiho Rei was made "5 man nichi no hinobe (to take effect after 50,000 days)" in order to repress, and, as a result, the enforcement of Kaiho Rei was not acknowledged in some provinces.
(Incidentally, 50,000 days elapsed from the proclamation of Kaiho Rei in July, 2008.)

[Original Japanese]