Japanese immigrants turn 114 today: Japan preserves urban culture

The influence of the Japanese people surrounding tropical countries is permanent and is still reflected in Brazilian traditions, tastes and knowledge.

With the Ministry of Tourism

Japan and Brazil have a common reason to celebrate this Saturday. This day is Japan’s immigration day in Brazil and is a connection between nations. Brazil began accepting Japanese immigrants working on coffee plantations in the state of São Paulo on June 18, 1908 (114 years ago).

Since then, the Japanese community has grown. According to data from the Japanese Embassy in Brazil, Brazil is home to about 2 million Japanese and their descendants. This number also shows the number of Japanese in green and yellow countries. The 2010 IBGE census shows that about 50,000 Japanese lived in Brazil. This data represents 11.4% of the total number of foreigners living in the country.

The influence of the Japanese people surrounding tropical countries is permanent and is still reflected in Brazilian traditions, tastes and knowledge. From martial arts to religion, tea and sushi to manga (a famous Japanese manga), Brazil is characterized by this culture that influences various areas of the economy, including tourism.

One example is the city of São Paulo, which has the largest Japanese community in Brazil. The façade is ideographic and the architecture is traditionally oriental, so just entering the Liberdade district will make you feel like you are in Japan. The neighborhood is visited by tourists from all over the world who are passionate about oriental culture and traditions. Feira da Liberdade brings together typical elements of Japanese culture over the weekend with an emphasis on gastronomy.

In Catanduva, Japanese people gathered around the non-profit organization Associação Esporivae Cultural Nipo-Brasileira, which was established on January 5, 1958. The institution offers music classes and maintains the Sol Nascente project with games for the elderly. In addition to events and monthly celebrations for members’ birthdays.

Nipo became known for its carnival balls that made a name for themselves in the history of Katanduba, such as the parades of floats in the 1960s and 70s. Baseball, Bon festival dance, karaoke. The first president is Keith Nakazone, and the first secretary is Goro Yamamoto.

“Japan is in full swing, but we’re slowing down because the new wave of Covid-19 scares us,” emphasizes 80-year-old Olga Yamamoto, who presided over the organization for 10 years. To do. Visit from 3 Japanese Consulates. “Our concern is to preserve Japanese culture and traditions and keep young people from dying.”

Olga Yamamoto is from Pirangi and was registered in the first year of life due to restrictions at the time.

Each Nipo party brings together more than 100 people who respect their hometown and are actively involved in the activities of the association. Mainly a mixed-race family, bringing Brazil and Japan closer together. By the way, all Brazilian and Japanese descendants are welcomed to the facility.

“Our parents suffered a lot when they arrived. They had to enter through the back door to get to the market and a few people couldn’t talk.” I remember Olga, who was born in Pirangi and was registered in the first year of life due to restrictions at the time. ..

To celebrate the 114th anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Brazil, a Thanksgiving Mass will be held this Saturday at 19:00 at Igreja Matriz de São Domingos. In August, Japanese-Brazilian Associates will hold Yakisoba on the 15th, referring to Father’s Day.

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