Happy Japanese Immigration to Brazil Day!

The first Japanese immigrants arrived near Sao Paulo, Brazil, 112 years ago. June 18th, 1908, they disembarked from the ship named Kasato Maru in the town of Santos. 781 men came to work on the coffee plantations. That was the beginning of the wave of 200,000 migrants who made their way to Brazil by the 1940s to work in agriculture; coffee, tea, rice and strawberry growing. The newcomers banded together and made mutual aid societies. Many moved into the cities, to open small stores and pharmacies. The Japanese immigrants cooperative economic model led to business success and prosperity.

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Liberdade Neighborhood Sao Paulo Photo: Caio do Valle

The Nikkei community is still vibrant more than 100 years after the first Japanese arrived in the largest South American country; today 1.6 million people of Japanese descent live in Brazil. Yearly celebrations of Japanese Immigrant Day were codified into Brazilian law in 2005. The Japanese neighborhood of Liberdade in Sao Paolo is a good place to celebrate. You can visit the Japanese Immigration Museum (Rua Sao Joaquim, 381) and see the poster below.

Feliz Dia da Imigração Japonesa!

Have you visited South America or Asia? Where would you travel once there is a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus?

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca

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“Let’s Go to South America” Historic poster from the Japanese Immigration museum in Brazil
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7 thoughts on “Happy Japanese Immigration to Brazil Day!

  1. I can’t tell you how many people are surprised when I mention this to them. Having traveled through South America, I can state from first hand knowledge that the Japanese community there is huge. And on a personal note, my former fiance who is Argentine, is of Japanese descent. I once asked her parents about the Japanese leaving the Far East and her dad also stated that most of the emigration took place well before World War II and not after as one might suspect. However, to this day, it is still interesting to see Asians that speak Spanish as their native language. And I also remember in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the many Chinese who native West Indian accents. As my dad once said, people really do move all over the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points! In the US often we tend to think of other countries as less multicultural than ours. But, as you know from traveling in the Americas, the populations of many countries have immigrants from all over the world. I like your specific examples. Sounds like you traveled quite a bit in South America. Rebecca

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