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  • Eu Sou Nikkei

    In the japanese costal town of hamamatsu men do not roam the streets in the iconic uniform of the black suit. Neither does the native language of japanese roll off of their tongues, but rather portuguese. Home to a few samba schools, brazilian shopping centers and where football is sacred, hamamatsu is home to the largest population of ethnic japanese brazilians in japan. However life is not such a carnival for the 250,000 immigrants who suffer from a lack of cultural integration and therefore have become privy to host of various social ills. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, japanese brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of brazil and japan to allow japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of japanese in the world, outside of japan. In the early 1980’s, following the fall of the brazilian dictatorship and because of a booming japanese economy, many ethnic japanese brazilians began to return to japan in order to work and earn money to send back home to their families. Between the years of 1985-1995 the population of immigrants of japanese descent or nikkeijin as they are commonly referred to, rose so steeply, with japanese brazilians accounting for almost half of the population of nikkeijin in the country.

  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: Gabriel, 4 years old who was born in Japan to Brazilian Japanese parents, was attending a Japanese school and learning Japanese but was interrupted when his parents moved to another neighborhood. Short contracts are commonplace among the Brazilian Japanese who work in factories since the economic crisis of 2008 and many live with a constant sense of instability which leaves many children to the solitude of their own problems. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: Dinner is served in the Ishiy house of Brazilian Japanese migrants. It is a mix of Japanese rice with Furikake topping, chicken Brazilian style and salad. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: Escola Alegria, a Brazilian school which educates a number of Brazilian immigrant children. The children feel at home in their native language and environment with other Brazilians yet suffer even further problems with integration into Japanese society for a lack of the Japanese language and interaction with other Japanese children. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: A guitar lies on the sofa at the Ishiy house in Hamamatsu. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Chiryu, Japan-June, 2013: Arianne Hayasaka, 30 years old and of Brazilian Japanese ethnicity kisses her daughter's feet in their apartment in the Chiryu public housing complex which is made up of a mix of low income Japanese and Brazilian families. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: A spiritualist strine in the Ishiy house in Hamamatsu. Rodrigo and Rosana are Brazilian Japanese Nikkei who moved to Japan some years ago and have created a life for themselves that they would not be able to sustain back in Brazil. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Chiryu, Japan-June, 2013: Wesley Gabriel Santos fixes his hair in the mirror at his home in Chiryu. Wesley who is Brazilian Japanese Nikkei, was raised by his paternal grandparents in Brazil while his mother worked to support him in Japan (sending money back home). She recently sent for him to come live with her just 10 months ago and he is working through the difficult adjustment of a 14 year old in his situation, although he has a hard time in school because of the language. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit:
  • Toyota, Japan-June, 2013: A kimono hangs in the doorway of Thais Leticia de Souza Lizita's home who is Brazilian Japanese Nikkei and was born and raised in Japan. The family lives in Homi Danchi, public housing complex and home to many Brazilians. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Chiryu, Japan-June, 2013: Hayenne Maybaca, 6 years old plays with fire sparklers outside of her home in the public housing sector of Chiryu. Hayenne who grew up in Brazil and is of Brazilian Japanese ethnicity recently moved to Japan to live with her mother who had for years been working in factories and sending money back to Brazil to help support her. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Handa, Japan-June, 2013: A train station along the rail line which connects Toyota and Hamamatsu. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Nagoya, Japan-June, 2013: Hayumi Honda blows out a candle at her 15th birthday party. Hayumi, Brazilian Japanes Nikkei was born and raised in Japan. Although Hayumi speaks Portuguese at home with her family and friends, she has been attending Japanese school since she was young and speaks and writes fluently in Japanese. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Nagoya, Japan-June, 2013: Hayumi Honda's 15th birthday party. Hayumi, Brazilian Japanes Nikkei was born and raised in Japan. Although Hayumi speaks Portuguese at home with her family and friends, she has been attending Japanese school since she was young and speaks and writes fluently in Japanese. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Hamamatsu, Japan-June, 2013: Rosana Ishiy a Brazilian Japanese Nikkei nurses her 5 month old baby Mariana while Rodrigo her 4 year old son plays ninja, by jumping off the bed and her neighbor Hayumi Honda sits nearby. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Toyota, Japan-June, 2013: Kosplay at the Homigaoka Festival in Homi Danchi baseball field in Toyota. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Kanagawa, Japan-June, 2013: Ewerthon Tobace, a second generation Brazilian Japanese Nikkei who has been living in Tokyo for 12 years and works as a journalist, practices Judo in his spare time, as he has done since childhood in Brazil. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Toyota, Japan-June, 2013: Wellington Manduco, Brazilian Japanese Nikkei, at his home in Homi Danchi public housing complex where many Brazilian Japanese live. Wellington came to Japan at the age of 14 after his parents had established work and a home in the country. Originally they were only able to bring three of their children with them and Wellington had to stay behind, enduring a serious intestinal illness in which he almost died. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Chiryu, Japan-June, 2013: A boy catches butterflies in the park of the public housing complex in Chiryu. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Handa, Japan-June, 2013: The Comitiva os Marvadus Sertaneja club of Nikkei play music and BBQ on a Sunday. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Toyota, Japan-June, 2013: Thais Leticia de Souza Lizita who is Brazilian Japanese Nikkei and was born and raised in Japan, plays with her son Cauã while her daughter Jade looks out the window. The family lives in Homi Danchi, public housing complex and home to many Brazilians. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen
  • Chiryu, Japan-June, 2013: Chiryu by the river. Although made up of two of the most opposing cultures, Japanese Brazilians are a phenomenal ethnic mix, which manifested in the beginning of the 20th century when Brazil abolished slavery and searched eagerly for migrant workers to fill their places. In 1907 an accord was signed between the governments of Brazil and Japan to allow Japanese migrant workers into the country to take up the work of former slaves, mainly on coffee plantations. The migration continued to form what is now the largest diaspora of Japanese in the world, outside of Japan. In 1991 under a Japanese government scheme, Brazilians of Japanese decent, known as Nikkeijin were offered working visas in order to provide badly needed labor in Japans numerous factories. The Japanese government had assumed that the Brazilians would fit well into the close minded society yet they were surprised to find that most held closely to their Brazilian heritage and many children struggled in Japanese schools with bullying and the Japanese language, subsequently causing problems with marginalization and a lack of integration. Today the Nikkei are a culture within themselves, neither completely Brazilian nor Japanese. Their population has dwindled since the 2008 economic crisis hit and many were given financial incentives by the Japanese government to return to Brazil. There are many who have stayed, perhaps with the dream of one day living in a Brazil without the violence and the high cost of living that they so quickly fled. Photo Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen