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Brazilian-Japanese

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: