Now, I'm a student of Oxford House College on the Gold Coast in Australia ,and I met many Brazilians and two Japanese Brazilians in English class. I was curious about "Why Japanese people as immigrants went to Brazil around 100 years ago?". I was haunted by this simple question, so I cut school today, forgive me Chris!
I've met 2 Japanese Brazilians through the English classes. I felt they have a beautiful and storong Japanese spirit even more than mordern Japanese living in Japan.
I want to introduce them.
Firstly, I met a briliant lady whose name is Paloma Yaemi Shimada. She is "Sansei", 3rd generation immigrant. Her grandmother was born in Parana which was Japanese Colony in Brazil. She learned Japanese as first language. Her father is second generation Japanese, and of course her paternal grand parents are pure Japanese.
Her father is pure Japanese in way of blood line, but perhaps he may have brazilian identity culturally.
Paloma was a lawyer at the age of just 29 yeas old in Brazil, but she said "I'm going to
change my job and work as a professional make up artist."
We spent time together only 3 weeks in the class, though we got close to each other in a flash because I think we had special feeling for each other.
I gave a hand writing a letter for her and her grand mother when she was leaving. After one month, she sent me a letter as a birthday card from Thailand, where she went on a sight seeing trip. Then, I wrote back to her in Brazil.
In this technorogical era, we can make contact by air mail. It costs about 2 dollars, then it takes about one month to reach each place. This big process makes us feel a special love in our friendship.
Secondly, I have to show you this great man whose name is Rodrigo Okada. He came to my class one month before I graduated. He is also 3rd generation but his race is completely Japanese blood, in addition he was born in Okayama Japan. Immideately after his birth, his parents went back to Brazil and he grew up there. It was not until he became an adult that he visited Japan in 2008.
His looks and behavior are Brazilian style in spite of his Japanese pure race. So I had complicated feelings that I couldn't discribe by words in a proper way when I saw him.
I think you can say it is common that most 3rd generation Japanese Brazilians can't speak the Japanese language. They know some words of greeting and numbers like couting 1 to 10, but they don't speak in the usual day.
You can feel the Japanese taste in their personality, because you can find that they 2 are very caring and considerate if someone faces difficulties.
Therefore, Meeting them inspired my curiousity of Japanese immigrants.
Sometimes, my class was all Brazilians except me who is Japanese. So I tried to take part in Brazilian parties a few times.
We can talk about the Olympic relationship from the Rio Olympics in 2016 to Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It was on a Japanese satelite TV that I saw in Japan that Brazilian and foreign people really enjoyed the animation movie and dance performance.
(The link below 'YOUTUBE')
According to a friend of mine Richeli from Brazil, There was a business boom in the economy because people in Brazil had employment opportunities for the Olympics.
However, It had no sooner finished than the economy got worse. For example, her company had been bunkrupt one month after she quit the job.
We Japanese must learn lessons for our society from this story.
Lets begin the main theme!
"Why Japanese people as immigrants went to Brazil before around 100 years ago?".
Did they starve in Japan in those days? or Japanese government wanted to colonise Brazilian land?
In the old Japanese culture, all assets were passed downt to the first son from their parents, so the second son had to get money from other places and a job also. That's why many Japanese family as guest worker needed to go abroad. Furthermore, in 1904 Japan and Russia were at war. Eventhough Japan won the war, they had a poor economy. These are reasons why Japanese people went to Brazil at the begining of 20 century.
As another reason, the Brazilian government needed foreign workers in farm areas because they abolished the law of slavery by African people in 1888.
Finally, 781 Japanese people arrived at Santos haven at Sao Paulo in 1908 as first emigrants.
To sum up, I really admire Japanese Brazilians through I met them in my real life. And, also it made me proud and appreciate for Japanese ancestors who were pioneers had great frontier splits. Since I have come to Australia I can undestand how difficult to live abroad especially different culture and language. Accordingly, I can imagine how much hard work in Brazil 100 years ago. Im proud of them indeed.