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Popular Sports in the Nikkei Community (Japanese)

(Japanese) We mainly played baseball, and also played volleyball and table tennis. There were many facilities in the community. We had our own baseball teams since we were little kids.

Of course, some people wanted to play soccer. Since it was Argentina, there was no trouble finding people to play with. But non-Nikkei were quite good at soccer. They had somewhat different physiques, and they were just really very good. It was difficult for us to shine there; the hurdles were high. That’s why we played more baseball and table tennis. We were strong at table tennis. We won a lot of regional tournaments in that one.


Argentina baseball Buenos Aires communities Escobar sports table tennis

Date: September 22, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Yoko Nishimura

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Juan Alberto Matsumoto was born in 1962 in the city of Escobar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received an informal bilingual education attending the Japanese school in Escobar. While he was in college, he enlisted in the Malvinas War (Falklands War) and served as a signalman. Afterwards, he graduated from the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires with a degree in international relations. In 1990, he went to Japan as a government-sponsored student. He majored in Labor law at Yokohama National University where he received a master’s degree.

Currently he serves as a public relations legal translator, a court interpreter, and broadcast interpreter, as well as a lecturer at JICA trainee orientations. He also teaches Spanish language and Latin American politics and law at the University of Shizuoka and occasionally he gives talks on multicultural coexistence. He also provides various supports for Latin American Nikkei living in Japan. (February 2020)

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