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Henrique Minatogawa

@Henrique

Henrique Minatogawa is a freelance journalist and photographer, Brazilian third generation Japanese descendant. His family origins are Okinawa, Nagasaki and Nara prefectures. In 2007, he was granted a scholarship Kenpi Kenshu in Nara prefecture. In Brazil, has been working in the coverage of events related to Japanese culture. (Photo: Henrique Minatogawa)

Updated July 2020


Stories from This Author

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Celebration of International Nikkei Day in Brazil

Aug. 24, 2020 • Henrique Minatogawa

International Nikkei Day is celebrated on June 20th. This year, due to the world situation, the celebrations took place in other formats. In the city of São Paulo, the date was included in the official calendar of commemorative dates and events through Law 17.169/2019. According to the legal text, "with the objective of debating and encouraging the preservation of the tradition and cultural values of the Nikkei Society, so that it is possible to transmit the legacy of the pioneers of …

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Uchinaguchi classes preserves culture and reinforces Okinawa identity in Sao Paulo

July 30, 2020 • Henrique Minatogawa

Okinawa culture marks its presence in Sao Paulo city, Brazil, through activities and events organized by the local associations. Music, dance, and cooking are the main elements used to promote it. These events usually attract many visitors, who gradually come into contact with words slightly different from the ones of the “Japanese language.” “Uchina”, “mensore,” and “goya” are words often heard or read in a typical event hosted by the Okinawa descendant community in Sao Paulo; they belong to "Uchinaguchi," …

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The Road to the Olympic Games

Dec. 6, 2019 • Henrique Minatogawa

Never Give Up: Jessica Yamada By the end of July 2020, the world’s attention should be focused on the Tokyo Olympics. Tourists from around the world have been planning the trip for months, booking tickets and hotels. A group of people, however, have been preparing longer: for months, many years; maybe a lifetime. These are the athletes. The Brazilian Olympic Committee estimates that their delegation will be composed of approximately 250 athletes, who will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics. …

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The work of two multicultural Nikkei tattoo artists

Nov. 6, 2019 • Henrique Minatogawa

From about 10 years ago, tattoo has been gaining another status in Brazil. Previously, the common peception was that only gangsters had them. Today, people of various professions and backgrounds carry on the body what is increasingly accepted as a “work of art”. “I won't deny that some people still look in a weird way. Society is evolving and understanding that it is an artistic matter. Talking with clients, I learn that some professions still do not view the tattoo …

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Little Changes in Family Celebrations

Aug. 16, 2019 • Henrique Minatogawa

We know that many Japanese came to Brazil over 100 years ago. They brought their culture with them, which their descendants preserve, but at the same time, it has evolved over time. One part of this culture’s customs is the celebrations. So, I talked with two professionals who work in production and photography for celebrations and other events. “I have always had, since childhood, a very big interest in sound and music. Encouraged by my mother, I attended cultural events …

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The Shogi Challenge in Brazil

Dec. 5, 2018 • Henrique Minatogawa

Pawn, tower, horse, bishop, and king, in Brazil, these names refer to chess pieces. Not that chess is extremely popular in this country it is only that many people have at least some knowledge of its basic rules. The expression "checkmate" for example, is used in various everyday situations. I even learned to play chess at school; in college, there was a chess club, but I was not a member. In my family, no one knows how to play shogi. …

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Nikkei LGBT talk about prejudice and acceptance - Part 2

Nov. 29, 2017 • Henrique Minatogawa

Read Part 1 >>  References Eastern ethnicities have little visibility in the Brazilian mainstream media. Although the quantitative proportion is small, in cultural and economic terms, the participation of Eastern groups is expressive. Even so, the visibility as part of Brazilian society is very small. In relation to homosexuals, there is a search for the gender related reference in addition to the ethnic. “I remember that in a soap opera there was a gay couple and it was all very …

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Nikkei LGBT Talk About Prejudice and Acceptance - Part 1

Nov. 28, 2017 • Henrique Minatogawa

According to the 2010 census conducted by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), there are approximately 190 million people living in Brazil. Of these, approximately 1.5 million are Japanese or descendants of Japanese, or less than 1% of the country’s population, according to data from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Center for Japanese-Brazilian Studies. In quantitative terms, therefore, the Nikkei is part of a minority. According to an evaluation by the Brazilian Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, …

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Nikkei Pastry Chef Spreads Yogashi in Brazil

April 17, 2017 • Henrique Minatogawa

Many people in Brazil tend to assume that Nikkei are interested exclusively in Japanese culture. If a Nikkei is keen on sports, the sport must be karate; if s/he likes music, it must be enka; if s/he draws, it must be manga. While these assumptions may occasionally be true, they are not 100% accurate. Vivianne Hitomi Wakuda is a 29-year-old Brazilian Sansei Nikkei. She is also a pastry chef. “In my first job interview, they assumed I worked with red …

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Japanese Grocery Stores: An Appreciation

Dec. 30, 2016 • Henrique Minatogawa

Some years ago, I worked in a publishing house in São Paulo’s Vila Mariana district. Nearby, there was a Japanese grocery store, where I would go to buy a bento at lunchtime. It was not every day that I would buy one; I believe it was two or three times a week at most. I also used to buy an Asian-style bread there that was not found in ordinary markets and bakeries. From time to time, I would feel like …

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