Monday, June 17, 2013

Immigrants: Japanese in Brazil

Japan was the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and is the first team to play against Brazil at the Confederations Cup. So here is a special post about the Japanese immigration in Brazil.

Japanese are part of our history. The Japanese culture in Brazil is very significant, nowadays there are over 1.5 million Japanese descendants living in Brazil, 1 million only in São Paulo state. 
It is the biggest Japanese community out of Japan. 

1908 - 2008: 100 years of immigration
The arrival of the ship Kasato Maru in June 18th, 1908 in Santos marks the beginning of the Japanese immigration to Brazil. The first immigrants came to Brazil to work in coffee farms, specially in São Paulo state, after the end of the slavery in our country in 1888. On the other hand Japan was in crisis, the majority of the population was living in the country side, making very little money to survive. One option was to move to the cities and another was to migrate, many Japanese moved to Hawaii, many to US and Canada, Peru and also to Brazil. Their dream was to make enough money to return to their country, they didn't learn Portuguese and kept their culture within their community, but the salary was very low and they had to give up their dream. The following generations started to blend more with the locals, left the farms to work in factories, learn Portuguese and became part of our nation. From 1920 the process of immigration accelerated, the Japanese founded cities like Bastos and Tietê, in São Paulo State, they formed colonies in Londrina in Paraná and Anápolis in Goiás. During the World War II many Japanese came to Brazil but always intending to return as soon as possible, they educated their kids under their culture, teaching Japanese and by 1938 there were 294 Japanese schools in São Paulo. As the time went by many of them decided to stay, making Brazil their nation.

Sports: One of the biggest contributions the Japanese brought to our culture is the martial arts. Brazilians fell in love with Karate and Aikido, we won one gold and 3 bronze medal in Judo in London 2012. But the biggest of all is the passion Brazilians have for Jiu Jitsu, the Gracie family was the responsible for this passion, after adapting the sport, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became very popular.

Religion: The majority of the Japanese became catholic in Brazil, but the Budism was introduced here by the Japanese and nowadays there are about 250 thousand people that follow this philosophy and practice the meditation. The Dalai Lama have been in Brazil 4 times. 

In August, at the end of the winter in Brazil, the city of São Paulo celebrates the cherry blossom.

If you are Japanese and wish to know more about the process of immigration go to the 100 years of Immigration website, it's in Japanese and Portuguese.

Japanese Embassy in Brasilia: Avenida das Nações, Quadra 811, lote 39 - Setor de Embaixadas Sul - Brasilia, DF
Phone: (61) 3442-4200 / (61) 3442-2499

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