Japanese people in Spain

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Japanese people in Spain
Total population
c. 11,636[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
Madrid, Catalonia[3]

Japanese people in Spain consist largely of expatriate managers in Japanese corporations, as well as international students.[4] There are also some people of Japanese ancestry in Spain, including descendants of 17th-century migrants to Spain, as well as migrants from among Nikkei populations in Latin America.[5] According to Spain's National Statistical Institute, 4,898 Japanese citizens resided in the country as of 2009; Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a slightly higher figure of 6,717.[1][2]


Hasekura in prayer, following his conversion to Christianity in Madrid in 1615.

The first Japanese people to settle in Spain were the members of an embassy led by Hasekura Tsunenaga. Instead of returning to Japan in 1617, six samurai remained in Coria del Río, near Seville. The surname Japón (Spanish for "Japan") is conserved among approximately 700 inhabitants of Coria del Río, identifying them as descendants of the members of Hasekura Tsunenaga's delegation.[6]

Between the 1970s and 1980s, Nikkeis—people of Japanese ancestry from various countries of Latin America—settled in Spain, fleeing financial crises or political oppression in their home countries.[citation needed] Since the 1970s, many Japanese have also come to Spain as businesspeople and students.[7] In 1966, there were only about 280 Japanese nationals in Spain, but this number grew to 2,824 by 1993.[8]


Spain has two Japanese international schools: the Colegio Japonés de Barcelona and the Colegio Japonés de Madrid. The two cities, Barcelona and Madrid, also have weekend Japanese education programmes.[9]

Notable people[edit]




Further reading[edit]