17 Jun

This week is the 100 year anniversary of the mass immigration of Japanese to Brazil.

In the early 1900’s, Brazil’s economy (which was still poor) was better than Japan’s…so in June 1908, the first ship of Japanese emigrants left Japan for Brazil.

They were mostly farmers who got jobs as laborers on Brazilian coffee plantations.

Supposedly, the language barrier and culture shock was too much for most to bear and many wanted to return to Japan…but were forbidden by the coffee plantation owners.

Many of the Japanese were finally able to buy their own farmland and start their own farms. And they began raising families in Brazil, so roots were set.

But after WWII, Japan’s economy became much better than Brazil’s…so to return the favor to Brazil for allowing so many poor farmers to immigrate, Japan began allowing Brazilians of Japanese descent to come to Japan and get a special visa to allow them to live and work here.

There are many Brazilians of Japanese descent. Brazil has the largest number of Japanese people outside of Japan.

But most of the Brazilians who come to Japan have a hard time. Many can’t speak Japanese very well. They usually get low paying labor jobs in factories and their children are unable to keep up in school.

Here’s a picture of the first Japanese to immigrate to Brazil in 1908:

16 Responses to “Brazilian-Japanese”

  1. tokyo5 June 25, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    I wrote this blog post ten years ago.
    Now, this week is the 110th anniversary of the mass immigration of Japanese to Brazil.


  2. tokyo5 June 24, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Yes, that typhoon caused alot of havoc there. I saw it on the news.

    Glad to hear you’re OK, though.


  3. lonerunner June 23, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Thanks for asking. The typhoon was really strong. I am fine but a lot of filipinos are not. Some places are still submerge in water and there are abt 800 people missing from a ship that sunk during the storm. 🙂


  4. tokyo5 June 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm #


    There’s a typhoon in the Philippines now, isn’t there?

    Are you OK?


  5. lonerunner June 21, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    you are so correct asian are so different from each other. Unfortunately for us filipinos we have strong spanish influence( we are Spanish colony frm 1600-1900 and an American colony frm 1900-1940) and that make us sooo un-asian. We have lost our Malay roots and got replaced by Spanish and American culture. As we Filipinos say, are like potatoes, brown on the outside and white in the inside.

    I love Japanese food! I think i might us well learn them both hahahha… I will try to learn Korean 1st. The easiest language for filipinos to learn would be spanish bcoz our language are mixed with some spanish words.



  6. tokyo5 June 21, 2008 at 12:33 am #


    That’s good that you want to learn another language (you’re already bi-lingual…right? English and Tagalog?)…maybe it’ll be easier for you to learn another language since your brain is already wired with two languages, so it might be easier to add a third.

    Western people often think that all of Asia is the same…but Korea and Japan (and the Philippines, etc) are all different in many ways.

    To decide which language to study…which culture, food, etc do you like more? Japanese or Korean?

    Why don’t you do a language exchange with one of your Korean or Japanese neighbors?

    Good luck!


  7. lonerunner June 20, 2008 at 4:15 am #

    I am asian so I prefer it to be an asian language.

    I am from the Philippines.

    I live in a Condominium which is populated by Koreans and a few Japanese, I guess I just want to know what they are saying, seriously I just like learning something new.

    Am just thinking, if I can teach myself to run 21K than I probably can teach myself learn a few sentences in a foreign language. 🙂

    There are language CDs from Berlitz or Rosetta that i plan to buy.

    Thanks for the Info!


  8. tokyo5 June 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    >I am planning to learn a new language, I am choosing between Japanese and Korean

    Just curious, but why are you choosing between those two?

    >is japanese language easy to learn?

    No, Japanese isn’t easy.
    What’s your home country / language? English?
    Unlike Spanish (which is similar to English), Japanese is quite different from English.

    Korean isn’t easy for English speakers either, btw.

    How are you planning to learn? Self-study with a book?


  9. lonerunner June 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    I am planning to learn a new language, I am choosing between Japanese and Korean, is japanese language easy to learn?


  10. tokyo5 June 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm #


    Thanks for visiting my site, and leaving comments.
    Feel free to comment often!

    >Maybe that is how Brazlian jiu-jitsu started.

    Yes, it is. The Brazilian martial art, “Jiu-jitsu” is directly derived from the ancient Japanese martial art 柔術 (“Jyuu-jyutsu”).

    It likely started to be called “Jiu-jitsu” in Brazil from a mispronunciation.

    And I know that the Japanese running shoes by “Mizuno” and “Asics” are popular with runners.


  11. lonerunner June 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    And I love japanese shoes The MIZUNOS AND ASICS! 🙂


  12. lonerunner June 18, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    Wow! very interesting. Maybe that is how Brazlian jiu-jitsu started. Btw, saw your blog thru SFrunner. 🙂



  13. tokyo5 June 17, 2008 at 1:38 am #

    >are there more Japanese descendants living in Brazil than in America?

    Yes. There are more Japanese in Brazil than anywhere else (except Japan, of course).

    And yes, Brazil was once a Portuguese colony.

    Prince Naruhito of the Japanese royal family is going to Brazil today for their celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil.


  14. Anthony (Mb's Husband) June 17, 2008 at 1:31 am #

    Wow, I’d never heard of this. I’ll have to look into it more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mb June 17, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    Interesting! I had no idea about people of Japanese descent living in Brazil in large numbers. Anthony is of Portuguese descent (partially), and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they colonized Brazil way back. Anyways, are there more Japanese descendents living in Brazil than in America?

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 June 25, 2018 at 10:35 am #

      > I think (Portugal) colonized Brazil way back

      Yes. Brazil’s language is Portuguese since then.

      >are there more Japanese descendents living in Brazil than in America?



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