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An Asian Brazilian is a Brazilianmarker-born person of Asian ancestry. Brazil received many immigrants from Asia, both from Middle East and East Asia. The first Asian immigrants to arrive in Brazil were a small number of Chinesemarker people (3,000) during the colonial period. However, significant immigration from Asia to Brazil started in the late 19th century, when immigration from Lebanonmarker and Syriamarker became important.

Most Asian Brazilians have roots in East Asia, most of them Japanese. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908. Until the 1950s, more than 250 thousand Japanese immigrated to Brazil. Nowadays, the Japanese-Brazilian population is estimated at 1.5 million people. It is, by far, the largest ethnic Japanese population outside Japanmarker. Other East Asian groups are also significant in Brazil. The Korean Brazilian population is estimated to be 50,000, and the Chinese Brazilian population around 400,000. Over 70% of Asian Brazilians are concentrated in the state of São Paulomarker. There are significant populations in Paranámarker, Parámarker, Mato Grosso do Sul and other parts of Brazil.

Japanese immigration to Brazil

In 1907, the Government of the State of São Paulomarker authorized Japanmarker's Imperial Immigration Company to transfer, annually, a certain amount of emigrants to Brazil. On June 18 1908, arrived at Santos' harbor the Japanese vessel Kasato Maru with the first group of immigrants composed of 165 families, a total of 786 people. From the harbor they went to coffee farms, in the Mogiana region, State of São Paulo, to work as "colonists". There they started a new life in a foreign country with different climate, culture and language. Other quotas followed them and almost all of them went to live in coffee farms.
Between 1910 and 1914 approximately 14,200 immigrants arrived from Japan, who, after ending their labor contract in the coffee farms, went to the interior of the State, to the coast near the Santos Juquiá railway or to the suburbs of São Paulo, in order to get their independence. During the 1910's they established several immigration centers in the region of the North West railway as well as alongside the banks of Ribeira River in Iguape. From 1925 to 1935 these centers spread statewide and became localities. By this time was recorded the arrival in Brazil of approximately 140,000 immigrants including those who went directly to the North of the Country.

The immigration flux was interrupted for 10 year because of World War II. In 1959 it started again but the quotas were smaller, especially those that arrived from 1961 on, date of the beginning of Japan's economical recuperation. Up to the present arrived in Brazil approximately 260,000 immigrants.

The biggest concentration of immigrants are:
Japanese immigration
State Percentage
São Paulomarker 73%
Paranámarker 20%
Mato Grosso do Sul 2.5%
Parámarker 1.2%

The others are living countrywide.

Their labor force is employed as follows: Agriculture (50%); Commerce (35%), Industry (15%). The industry has grown quickly in view of the establishment in Brazil of Japanese enterprises during the 60's. We believe that 800,000 people compose the Japanese community in Brazil, which is already in its 4th generation. The descendants of the immigrants perform all kind of activity within the cultural and economic sectors. In the past two decades we have had two State Ministers in the Brazilian Government.

Following their 80-year-old path immigrants and their descendants who have already close ties with Brazilmarker take part and contribute with love and dedication to the construction of a better and developed country. This year, on June 18, they will celebrate with great rejoicing the beginning of the Japanese immigration into Brazil, since this day symbolizes a landmark of a history started 80 years ago.

Brazilians in Japan

The migration continued through the 1970s, despite the interruption of World War II, with a total of 250,000 people crossing the seas. Not only farmers, but also politicians, engineers and entrepreneurs among Japanese-Brazilians appeared one after another. A reversal of that flow, and a swift increase of migrant workers in Japanmarker, was triggered by the 1990 revisions to the immigration control law. At the request of the business community, second- and third-generation Japanese from Brazil were granted residence status without employment restrictions.

Director Yamasaki visited Japan in the late 1990s to film a sequel to her first work. Her goal was to explore why recent immigrants, despite being accepted into Japan under a so-called national policy, were treated as gaijin (aliens). She focused on the lifestyles of the Japanese-Brazilians, tracking the plights of their fourth-generation children, many of whom dropped out of school after being unable to adapt to Japan's educational system.

These Japanese-Brazilians are now 310,000 strong, exceeding the number of Japanese who originally moved to Brazil. While more of them have permanent residency, how to educate their children has become a particularly acute problem. There is no shortage of cases in which such children stop attending school due to the language barrier and descend into delinquency. Even when they stay in school, many can form no tangible ambitions for the future. While it is natural to expect parents to take responsibility for their children's education, the success of such efforts depends upon adequate support in the classroom.

Japanese immigration to Brazil
Source: (IBGE)
Ethnic group 1904-1913 1914-1923 1924-1933 1945-1949 1950-1954 1955-1959
Japanese 11,868 20,398 110,191 12 5,447 28,819

See also


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