Japanese in Brazil, Brazilians in Japan
by Kazuya S.
Japanese emigrants grow coffee beans
Some Brazilians live in Japan by immigration. And many Japanese people live in Brazil by emigration. Last year at a seminar in my geography class we learned about Brazilians who work in Japan's Hamamatsu City.
Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, which has been estimated at 1.5 million. At the beginning of the 20th century, many people in Japan's rural areas lived in poverty, while at the same time Brazil needed farm labor for its coffee plantations.
So hundreds of thousands of Japanese emigrated to Brazil to better their living conditions and to pursue their dreams. Since WW2, this emigration has continued among the elite class as well, including lawyers, doctors, athletes, etc.
And Japan has Brazilian immigrants, too. As Japan developed into an economic power since the 1960’s, Brazilians immigrated to Japan to work in the factories as contract workers. Most Brazilians in Japan live and work in Hamamatsu, Aichi, Shizuoka, Gumma, and small city suburbs of the Tokyo metroplex.
In 2008 both Japan & Brazil celebrated the 100th anniversary of Japanese emigration to Brazil, which included a visit to Brazil by Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito & many festivals to commemorate the special historic ties between Japan & Brazil.