Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1797/

Closed Japanese community

Japanese people are, if anything, insular. They seclude themselves in their rural communities and Japanese settlements where everyone is Japanese and the Japanese language is spoken. All of our events like school athletic meets and school art festivals – it was all in Japanese and for Japanese people. And it’s hard to learn the language (Portuguese) in the countryside. The second generation is different but when it comes to the first generation they would cheer “Long live the Emperor” at school athletic meets and events like that. They would face east and bow. I think Brazilians must have felt that was immensely strange. And so, Japanese society was thought of as closed off.

And another thing: as a principle, they only got married to people of Japanese descent. Marrying a non-Japanese person was extremely rare.


Brazil

Date: September 19, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Yoko Nishimura

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

Interviewee Bio

Masato Ninomiya was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1948 and moved to Brazil at the age of 5 with his family. He currently maintains a legal office in São Paulo, and in addition to working as a Law Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, also serves as Special Assistant to the President at Meiji University and as Visiting Professor of Law at Musashino University. Since its founding in 1992, he has served as President of CIATE (Center for Information and Support to Workers Abroad), Advisor to the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Central and South America, and also a Committee Member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Additionally, he is considered a Nikkei community leader in Brazil, supporting various activities such as improving the working conditions of Brazilian Dekasegi, and the education of Japanese-Brazilian children. . (May 2021)

Akama,Michie
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Akama,Michie

Reasons for immigrating to Brazil (Japanese)

Issei, Pioneer of women's education in Brazil

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Akama,Michie
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Akama,Michie

Opening a Japanese-style all-girls' school in Brazil (Japanese)

Issei, Pioneer of women's education in Brazil

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Oi,Celia
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Oi,Celia

Brazilian of Japanese descents (Portuguese)

Former Director, Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil

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Oi,Celia
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Oi,Celia

Japan's impact on the image of Nikkei in Brazil (Portuguese)

Former Director, Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil

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Oi,Celia
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Oi,Celia

Change in sense of Nikkei Brazilian identity over time (Portuguese)

Former Director, Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil

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Oi,Celia
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Oi,Celia

Nikkei community concentrated in São Paulo (Portuguese)

Former Director, Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil

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Oi,Celia
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Oi,Celia

Changing life styles of successive generations (Portuguese)

Former Director, Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil

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Hirano,Paulo Issamu
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Hirano,Paulo Issamu

The difference between Nikkei community in Oizumi and Brazil (Japanese)

(b. 1979) Sansei Nikkei Brazilian who lives in Oizumi-machi in Gunma prefecture. He runs his own design studio.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

Not too concerned about learning Japanese when he was growing up in Brazil (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

The reason why he immigrated to Japan (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

Advantages of living in Japan (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

Future of the Japanese Brazilian community in Japan (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

The reason why the city of Oizumi became “Brazilian town” (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti
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Shikota,Antonio Shinkiti

Japanese Brazilians living in Oizumi (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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