Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brazil is the Latin American republic which received the most ethnic Japanese immigrants, and the host country of the largest Japanese community outside Japan (numbering between 1.3 and 1.5 million). The first Japanese immigrants (mostly farmers) came to Brazil in 1908 on the Kasato Maru from the Japanese port of Kobe, moving into Brazil in search of better life conditions. Many of them (along with Chinese immigrants) ended up as laborers in coffee farms. At this time, Brazil had a lack of farm workforce, and first turned to European immigrants to supply its demands. The influx of Japanese workers then continued to satisfy this demand.
As in other parts of the world, Japanese descendants received special names: "Nisei" for their children and "Sansei" for their grandchildren. To this day, many Japanese married Brazilians, and for that matter, many Japanese-Brazilians are also of European and/or African descent, adding up to the highly diversified ethnical population of the country.
In the period of World War II, Brazil cut its relations with Japan. Japanese-language newspaper publications and Japanese-language teaching in schools were banned, leaving Portuguese as the only option for Japanese descendants. Newspapers in German or Italian were also advised to stop their production, since they were Japan's allies in the war.
When the conflict was over, many Japanese refugees decided to settle in Brazil, thus creating a large Japanese community. It's also important to mention the fact that most Japanese descendants in Brazil rarely show interest in learning the Japanese language. Most Niseis and Sanseis speak Portuguese only, usually taking English classes in school.
In the 1980s, Japan and Brazil switched their economic status, and thus, immigration directions. The Japanese economic situation improved and came back to stability, while Brazil's economy started to show problems. Many Japanese Brazilians (including those of mixed African or European descent) went to Japan as contract workers due to economic and political problems in Brazil, receiving the name of "Dekasegis". Japanese citizenship and immigration laws were offered to Brazilian Dekasegis in 1990, encouraging more Japanese immigration from Brazil. Some Japanese Brazilians also went to the United States, Canada, or the former colonial power of Brazil, Portugal.
Some Japanese also went to Brazil from Macau in 1999, when it was returned from Portugal to mainland China. These Japanese are descendants of Japanese Catholic refugees expelled by shoguns, and these can also speak Portuguese and its creole — PatuŠ, but only speak additional language, Cantonese Chinese, and no Japanese.
The influx of Japanese descendants from Brazil to Japan was and continues to be large (over 250,000 Japanese Brazilians living in Japan today), yet Brazil still keeps its status of the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. The Japanese community in Brazil (notably in S„o Paulo's Liberdade district) is very large and has its roots deeply settled into the city, making it unlikely that it could weaken itself one day.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details