Brazilians in Japan

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Brazilians in Japan
Brasileiros no Japão
在日ブラジル人
Zainichi Burajirujin
Tulio 20080622.jpg
Lisa Ono.jpg
Total population
210,032 (February 2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Nagoya, Hamamatsu,[2] Toyota,[3] Ōizumi[4]
Languages
Portuguese, Japanese
Religion
Roman Catholicism, Japanese new religions[5]
Minority:
Buddhism and Shinto
Related ethnic groups
Brazilian people, Japanese people, Japanese Brazilians, Peruvians in Japan

There is a significant community of Brazilians in Japan, consisting largely but not exclusively of Brazilians of Japanese ethnicity. They also constitute the largest number of Portuguese speakers in Asia, greater than those of formerly Portuguese East Timor, Macao and Goa combined. Likewise, Brazil maintains its status as home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.

Migration history[edit]

During the 1980s, the Japanese economic situation improved and achieved stability. Many Japanese Brazilians went to Japan as contract workers due to economic and political problems in Brazil, and they were termed "Dekasegi". Working visas were offered to Brazilian Dekasegis in 1990, encouraging more immigration from Brazil.

In 1990, the Japanese government authorized the legal entry of Japanese and their descendants until the third generation in Japan. At that time, Japan was receiving a large number of illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, and Thailand. The legislation of 1990 was intended to select immigrants who entered Japan, giving a clear preference for Japanese descendants from South America, especially Brazil. These people were lured to Japan to work in areas that the Japanese refused (the so-called "three K": Kitsui, Kitanai and Kiken – hard, dirty and dangerous). Many Japanese Brazilians began to immigrate. The influx of Japanese descendants from Brazil to Japan was and continues to be large. By 1998, there were 222,217 Brazilians in Japan, making up 81% of all Latin Americans there.[6]

Because of their Japanese ancestry, the Japanese Government believed that Brazilians would be more easily integrated into Japanese society. In fact, this easy integration did not happen, since Japanese Brazilians and their children born in Japan are treated as foreigners by native Japanese. Even people who were born in Japan and immigrated at an early age to Brazil and then returned to Japan are treated as foreigners.[7][8] Despite the fact that most Brazilians in Japan look Japanese and have a recent Japanese background, they do not "act Japanese" and have a Brazilian identity. This apparent contradiction between being and seeming causes conflicts of adaptation for the migrants and their acceptance by the natives.[9]

In April 2009, due to the financial crisis, the Japanese government introduced a new programme that would incentivise Brazilian and other Latin American immigrants to return home with a stipend of $3000 for airfare and $2000 for each dependent. Those who participate must agree not to pursue employment in Japan in the future.[10]

Integration and community[edit]

A reveler at the annual Asakusa Samba Carnival

Brazilians of Japanese descent in particular find themselves the targets of discrimination; some local Japanese scorn them as the descendants of "social dropouts" who emigrated from Japan because they were "giving up" on Japanese society, whereas others perceive them more as objects of pity than scorn, people who were forced into emigrating by unfortunate circumstances beyond their control such as birth order or lack of opportunities in rural areas.[11] The largest numbers are concentrated in Toyota, Ōizumi, where it is estimated that up to 15% of the population speaks Portuguese as their native language, and Hamamatsu, which contains the largest population of Brazilians in Japan.[12] It is worth noting that Brazilians are not particularly concentrated in larger cities such as Tokyo or Osaka. Brazilians tend to be more concentrated where there are large factories, as most who first moved to Japan tended to work in automobile plants and the like.

Brazilian population by prefecture 2009[13]
Aichi Prefecture 67,162
Shizuoka Prefecture 42,625
Mie Prefecture 18,667
Gifu Prefecture 17,078
Gunma Prefecture 15,324
Kanagawa Prefecture 13,091
Saitama Prefecture 12,301
Shiga Prefecture 11,384
Nagano Prefecture 10,938
Ibaraki Prefecture 10,200

Brazilian identity in Japan[edit]

In Japan, many Japanese Brazilians suffer prejudice because they do not know how to speak Japanese correctly. Despite their Japanese appearance, Brazilians in Japan are culturally Brazilians, usually only speaking Portuguese, and are treated as foreigners.[14]

The children of Dekasegi Brazilians encounter difficulties in Japanese schools.[15] Thousands of Brazilian children are out of school in Japan.[14]

Academic studies report that many Japanese Brazilians felt (and were often treated) as Japanese in Brazil. But when they move to Japan, they realize that they are totally Brazilian. In Brazil, Japanese Brazilians rarely listened to samba or participated in a carnival parade. However, once in Japan, Japanese Brazilians often promote carnivals and samba festivities in the Japanese cities to demonstrate their pride of being Brazilians.[16][not in citation given]

The Brazilian influence in Japan is growing. Tokyo has the largest carnival parade outside of Brazil itself. Portuguese is the third most spoken foreign language in Japan, after Chinese and Korean, and is among the most studied languages by students in the country. In Oizumi, it is estimated that 15% of the population speak Portuguese as their native language. Japan has two newspapers in the Portuguese language, besides radio and television stations spoken in that language. The Brazilian fashion and Bossa Nova music are also popular among Japanese.[4]

In 2005, there were an estimated 302,000 Brazilian nationals in Japan, of whom 25,000 also hold Japanese citizenship. Each year, 4,000 Brazilian immigrants return to Brazil from Japan.[17]

Religion[edit]

With Catholicism widespread in Brazil, in the early days of Brazilian migration to Japan, Catholic churches often served as spaces for migrant gatherings and socialisation. However, the growth of secular Brazilian community organisations, media, and businesses in Japan has taken over part of this role from the churches.[18] Migrants, including Brazilians, make up perhaps as much as half of the total Catholic population in Japan. However, differences in culture and even in religious tradition have made it difficult to integrate Brazilian migrants into native Japanese Catholic congregations.[19] For example in the Saitama Diocese, although Japanese-speaking and Portuguese-speaking congregation share the same church building, exchange between them is almost non-existent, and the two groups hold ceremonies, celebrations, and other events separately.[20]

Japanese new religions see the stream of Brazilian migration as an opportunity to gain new converts.[21] The Church of World Messianity (SKK, for Sekai Kyūsei Kyō) is one Japanese new religion which has had a strong following in Brazil; by 1998 they had 300,000 members in Brazil, 97% of non-Japanese background.[21] With the increase in Brazilian migration to Japan, by 2006 a total of 21 Johrei centres had engaged Brazilian SKK missionaries in order to provide Portuguese-language orientation to Brazilian migrants. They have been somewhat more successful than Catholics in promoting integration between the Brazilian and Japanese parts of their congregations.[22]

Education[edit]

Japanese Brazilian Center Educational Institute in Oizumi

Most Brazilians in Japan are usually educated. However, they are employed in the Japanese automotive and electronics factories, a trade considered below native Japanese.[23] Most Brazilians go to Japan attracted by the recruiting agencies (legal or illegal) in conjunction with the factories. Many Brazilians are subjected to hours of exhaustive work, earning a small salary by Japanese standards.[24] Nevertheless, in 2002, Brazilians living in Japan sent US$ 2.5 billion to Brazil.[25]

Media[edit]

  • International Press (newspaper)
  • IPC (television station)
  • Tudo Bem (magazine)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 平成23年末現在における外国人登録者統計について 法務省, Japan: Ministry of Justice, February 2012, retrieved 2012-02-22 
  2. ^ Hamamatsu Journal; Sons and Daughters of Japan, Back From Brazil
  3. ^ An Enclave of Brazilians Is Testing Insular Japan
  4. ^ a b JAPÃO: IMIGRANTES BRASILEIROS POPULARIZAM LÍNGUA PORTUGUESA
  5. ^ Matsue 2006, p. 123
  6. ^ De Carvalho 2002, p. 80
  7. ^ Parece, mas nao é
  8. ^ Migração japonesa e o fenômeno dekassegui: do país do sol nascente para uma terra cheia de sol
  9. ^ Permanently transient: Brazilian dekasseguis in Japan
  10. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (2009-04-23), "Japan Pays Foreign Workers to Go Home", New York Times, retrieved 2009-08-18 
  11. ^ Tsuda 2003, pp. 106–108
  12. ^ Japan's trial run for migrant workers
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ a b Onishi, Norimitsu. "An Enclave of Brazilians Is Testing Insular Japan," New York Times. November 1, 2008.
  15. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko. "Despite Shortage, Japan Keeps a High Wall for Foreign Labor," New York Times. January 3, 2011; excerpt, "...the government did little to integrate its migrant populations. Children of foreigners are exempt from compulsory education, for example, while local schools that accept non-Japanese-speaking children receive almost no help in caring for their needs."
  16. ^ a09v2057.pdf
  17. ^ Filhos de dekasseguis: educação de mão dupla
  18. ^ Matsue 2006, p. 134
  19. ^ Matsue 2006, p. 135
  20. ^ Matsue 2006, p. 136
  21. ^ a b Matsue 2006, p. 139
  22. ^ Matsue 2006, p. 140
  23. ^ O caminho de volta ainda é atraente
  24. ^ Folha Online – BBC – Lula ouve de brasileiros queixas sobre vida no Japão – May 28, 2005
  25. ^ Untitled Document

Sources[edit]

  • De Carvalho, Daniela (2002), Migrants and identity in Japan and Brazil: the Nikkeijin, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-7007-1705-7 
  • Matsue, Regina Yoshie (2006), "Religious Activities among the Japanese-Brazilians: "Dual Diaspora" in Japan", in Kumar, P. Pratap, Religious Pluralism in the Diaspora, International Studies in Religion and Society #4, Brill, pp. 121–146, ISBN 978-90-04-15250-2 
  • Tsuda, Takeyuki (2003), Strangers in the ethnic homeland: Japanese Brazilian return migration in transnational perspective, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-12838-4 

Further reading[edit]

  • Maeda, Hitomi (2007), Japanese Brazilians in Japan: A Formula of Assessing the Degree of Social Integration, Verlag Dr. Müller, ISBN 978-3-8364-2538-4 
  • Lesser, Jeffrey (2003), Searching for Home Abroad: Japanese Brazilians and Transnationalism, Duke University Press, ISBN 978-0-8223-3148-3 
  • Linger, Daniel T. (2001), No One Home: Brazilian Selves Remade in Japan, Stanford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8047-3910-8 
  • Roth, Joshua Hotaka (2000), Brokered Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Migrants in Japan, The Anthropology of Contemporary Issues, Cornell University Press, ISBN 978-0-8014-8808-5