Burakumin are a social group which has long been discriminated against. The word burakumin means ‘people of the hamlet’, a 19th century word used instead of words such as eta (“outcaste”) and hinin (“nonhuman”). Discrimination is not legal, but these people are often refused jobs and accommodation. The group’s origins are not clear, but in the Edo period they took work nobody else wanted; executions, leather work, and day labor, for example. Today, burakumin struggle to escape from their plight, but experience a familiar cycle: they are hampered because poor living conditions and education prevent them from obtaining good employment and low income leads to the next generation repeating the cycle. The number of burakumin probably ranges between two and three million or about 2% of the population. Although sometimes referred to as outcastes in English, the term is inappropriate because Japanese society was never organized in a manner similar to the caste system in South Asia.