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date: 07 December 2021

Japanese Immigration to Brazilfree

Japanese Immigration to Brazilfree

  • Mieko NishidaMieko NishidaDepartment of History, Hartwick College


Japanese immigration to Brazil started in 1908 as a replacement for European immigrants to work for the state of São Paulo’s expanding coffee industry. It peaked in the late 1920s and early 1930s, in the face of growing anti-Japanese sentiment in Brazil. The Japanese migrated to Brazil in mandatory family units and formed their own agricultural settlements once they competed their colono labor contracts and became independent farmers. Under Getúlio Vargas’s nationalistic policies, a 1934 immigration law severely limited the entry of the Japanese. Strict legal restrictions were also imposed on them during Vargas’s Estado Novo (1937–1945). Japanese immigration was eventually terminated in 1942. Then the number of Japanese immigrants reached 188,986. At the end of the war, the Japanese were sharply divided among themselves over the defeat of Japan, and Sindō Renmei’s attacks on other Japanese factions terrified the nation of Brazil. Having given up their hope of returning to their homeland, the Japanese and their descendants began to migrate on a large scale to the cities, especially São Paulo City. Japanese immigration resumed in 1953 and peaked in 1959–1960. A total of 53,657 postwar immigrants, including many single adult men, arrived in Brazil before 1993. By 1980, the majority of Japanese Brazilians had joined the urban middle class, and many were already mixed racially. In the mid-1980s, Japanese Brazilians’ “return” labor migrations to Japan began on a large scale, due to Brazil’s troubled national economy. More than 310,000 Brazilian citizens were residing in Japan in June 2008, when the centenary of Japanese immigration was widely celebrated in Brazil. But the story does not end there: the global recession soon forced unemployed Brazilians and their Japanese-born children to return to Brazil.


  • History of Brazil
  • 1910–1945
  • 1945–1991
  • 1991 and After
  • International History
  • Social History

Prewar Japanese Immigration

The Japanese Brazilian population was estimated at approximately 1.9 million people in 2016 by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Most of them live in the southeast of Brazil, especially in the states of São Paulo and Paraná, with the densest population in metropolitan São Paulo. The world’s largest Japanese diaspora resulted from mass migration to Brazil, starting in 1908, to supply labor for the country’s coffee industry. In the 1830s, coffee had already replaced sugar as Brazil’s principal export commodity; a few decades later, western São Paulo began to flourish as the center of Brazil’s coffee industry thanks to the free labor of colonos (contract agricultural workers). Coffee constituted more than half of all Brazilian exports during the huge coffee boom around 1870, and accounted for 67 percent of Brazil’s exports between 1889 and 1897. São Paulo’s provincial government had turned to European immigration for coffee production, and from 1886 to the early 1930s, roughly 2,750,000 immigrants entered São Paulo. Some 46 percent of them were Italians.1 However, the price of Brazilian coffee hit bottom in 1897, owing to excessive production, and the Brazilian currency lost much of its value in the world market. That was the beginning of a serious economic depression in Brazil, and many plantation workers received no wages. Upon receiving reports of these problems, the Italian government severely restricted subsidized emigration to Brazil in 1889–1890, and prohibited it in 1902. Not only did the number of immigrants drop drastically, but many also left the plantations for São Paulo City, returned to their homeland, or moved to Argentina or the United States in search of better economic opportunities. Thus São Paulo’s coffee planters suffered from a severe shortage of plantation labor. Representing the interests of its wealthy coffee planters, the São Paulo state government decided to subsidize Japanese immigration by overriding the Brazilian federal government’s prohibition on Asian immigration. This had been enacted to create a modern and “civilized” Brazil, “whitened” through allowing European immigrants only.2

Across the Pacific, Japan faced ongoing overpopulation along with significant internal migration and economic depression. The Japanese government had refused to approve emigration to Brazil, owing to that nation’s troubled coffee economy. The Japanese themselves perceived Brazil as the least desirable destination for emigration—“five times farther, with five times less wages than in Hawai‘i,” with travel expenses that were easily five times more.3 After Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), the Japanese economy sank back into a serious depression. Upon the United States’s enactment of the Gentlemen’s Agreement (1907), which effectively eliminated new Japanese immigration, the Japanese government finally approved Japanese emigration to Brazil, but the subsidy given by São Paulo covered barely half of the expenses for each emigrant.4 Kōkoku Imin Kaisha (the Royal Emigration Company), an emigration company newly established by Ryu Mizuno, was allowed by the state government of São Paulo to transport one thousand Japanese immigrants to Brazil on three-year contracts. Mizuno’s company targeted Okinawans as the most desirable immigrants to Brazil because of their familiarity with a semitropical climate: 325 of the 791 Kasato Maru immigrants were from Okinawa. Kōkoku Imin Kaisha could barely pay the mandatory fee to the Japanese government and went bankrupt after the Kasato Maru passage.5

In 1914, the São Paulo state government suspended subsidizing Japanese immigration, as more Europeans had become available as colono immigrants. This political action also reflected anti-Japanese laws in the United States. Luckily for Japan, with the outbreak of World War I, European immigration to Brazil virtually stopped again, and in 1917 the São Paulo state government resumed subsidized Japanese immigration. In the same year, the Japanese government established the Kaigai Kōgyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Overseas Development Company, or KKKK) through the merger of private emigration companies. In 1920, KKKK bought the very last independent emigrant company and thenceforth dominated the entire prewar emigration business in Japan. In 1921, the São Paulo state government stopped subsidizing Japanese immigration again, while continuing to subsidize European immigrants.6

In 1924, the United States enacted the Immigration Act, which prohibited the entry of the Japanese. In the same year, the Japanese government fully subsidized emigration to Brazil for victims of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. In 1925, to solve its continuing problem of overpopulation (an annual increase of 7 million people), Japan officially began its policy of state-sponsored emigration to Brazil; the Japanese government paid full passage and also covered the fee that each emigrant paid to KKKK. This policy included young children and the elderly. Furthermore, in 1928, the Japanese government increased the subsidy to cover each emigrant’s personal expenses for preparing to emigrate, including travel expenses from home to the port of Kobe. State-sponsored Japanese immigration to the Brazilian Amazon also started in 1925. In 1928, the Japanese government established the National Asylum of Emigrants in Kobe. As a result, the total number of Japanese in Brazil rose to 100,000 by the beginning of the 1930s. Japanese immigration peaked in 1933, with the entry of 24,494 that year.7

Japans’ cooperative emigration to Brazil started during the late 1920s. Members of prefectural cooperatives emigrated as independent farmers, without colono labor contracts yet with all expenses for their emigration paid fully by the Japanese government. Cooperative immigrants constituted only 9.5 percent of prewar Japanese immigrants to Brazil.8 In March 1927, the Japanese government enacted the Law of Cooperative Overseas Emigration, which enabled each prefecture’s overseas emigration cooperative to purchase land in Brazil in order to construct its settlements. Members of the cooperative received loans for the purchase of land to start as independent farmers. In August 1927, Kaigai Ijū Kumiai Rengōkai (the Federation of the Cooperatives of Overseas Emigration) was established, and a total of thirteen prefectural cooperatives had come to function by 1928. In 1929, the Federation founded its Brazilian agency, Burajiru Takushoku Kumiai (Brazil Colonization Society, or BRATAC), which dealt not only with the purchase of land and its distribution to Japanese immigrants but also with the construction of roads, bridges, schools, and factories to process agricultural products for the Japanese. It also made loans of living expenses to cooperative immigrants for their general well-being.9

By the mid-1930s, the political situation in Brazil had begun to change for Japan and for its prospective emigrants to Brazil. In 1933–1934, anti-Japanese sentiment reached its height among the Brazilian elite, and the Brazilian government enacted a law in 1934 limiting the number of incoming immigrants of each nationality to 2 percent of the total number of immigrants of that nationality arriving in Brazil for the last fifty years. The law clearly targeted the Japanese, as it did not affect the entry of Europeans, who had constituted the great majority of immigrants in Brazil since the late 19th century. The number of incoming Japanese immigrants dropped drastically, from 9,611 (1935) to 1,548 (1941), and a total of 188,986 prewar Japanese immigrants entered Brazil. Japan turned to Manchuria as its new destination for emigration; state-sponsored pioneering immigration to Manchuria started in 1935, with 225,585 migrants by May 1945.10 After the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Japan aggressively expanded its empire to construct the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (1940), comprising Japan, Manchuko, China, and parts of Southeast Asia.

Formation of the Japanese Diaspora

Prewar Japanese immigration to Brazil took on several very specific characteristics. First, 94.3 percent of the Japanese in Brazil started their immigrant lives in agriculture, and 77.5 percent of them were colonos.11 Second, most arrived in the 1920s and 1930s, with those entering Brazil from 1925 to 1934 constituting 67.9 percent of all the prewar Japanese immigrants.12 Third, the Japanese were required to immigrate in family units; São Paulo’s plantation owners had learned from experience with European immigrants that isolated single male workers would not stay on the plantations, contract or no contract. In accordance with the newly established Brazilian immigration laws, prospective migrants had to form appropriate families, each made of three to ten members, headed by a married patriarch, including three “economically active” members aged twelve to forty-five. Some Japanese hurriedly got married for the sake of emigration. Others, following the traditional Japanese custom of adoption (yōshi), adopted young adults, usually nephews and nieces or friends’ or neighbors’ children, to create suitable families, sometimes just on paper.13

Figure 1. Japanese Immigrants Monument in Santos, São Paulo, with the inscription by Japan’s then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Nihon Imin Burajiru Jōriku Kinen (In memory of the landing of Japanese immigrants in Brazil), inaugurated on June 21, 1998.

Photographed by the author.

Most prewar Japanese immigrants in Brazil planned on returning home as soon as possible after making a sizable fortune, but it was difficult to make money in Brazil on an agricultural worker’s wages. To make enough money to return to the homeland, workers had to invest their limited capital in land. Consequently, most Japanese immigrants ended up staying in Brazil permanently.14 Already in the 1910s, upon completing their colono labor contracts, Japanese immigrants were becoming leaseholders, sharecroppers, and small landowners, and as independent famers, they formed their own agricultural settlements. During the 1930s, the Japanese came to be reputed in Brazil as “unwilling to assimilate themselves” and “as insoluble as sulfur,” forming “racial cysts” (quistos raciais), without learning the Portuguese language or mixing with the local Brazilian population.15

The Japanese in Brazil perceived themselves and their children as zairyumin (overseas Japanese) or zeihaku hōjin (overseas Japanese in Brazil). They called one another dōhō (compatriot) and formed a dōhō shakai (compatriots’ society).16 In 1927, the consulate-general of Japan got directly involved in the education of Japanese children in Brazil with the establishment of Zaihaku Nihonjin Kyoikukai (Association of Education for the Overseas Japanese in Brazil). With funding from the Japanese government, Japanese elementary schools were built and teachers were recruited directly from Japan through the Japanese government.17 Inevitably, Imperial Japan’s ultranationalism and militarism became the backbone of mediated Japanese national identity in Brazil. The Japanese identified themselves as imperial subjects under the rule of the emperor and were proud of Japanese militaristic expansion to Asia and the Pacific.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Japanese in Brazil were faced with two drastic changes. One was President Getúlio Vargas’s nationalistic policies; the other, Japan’s involvement in World War II. During Vargas’s fascist regime, called the Estado Novo (New State, 1937–1945), under a new constitution, immigration laws and the assimilation policy were strictly enforced. First, as of 1938, teaching children under the age of fourteen any foreign language was no longer allowed. Education led by foreigners and taught in foreign languages was suppressed in 1939, and foreigners were not allowed to operate any schools in rural areas. Japanese schools in Brazil, which had numbered 476 in 1938, including 294 elementary schools, suddenly ceased operations. Upon Japan’s military occupation of Hainan Island of China in February 1939, a number of Japanese immigrants in Brazil began to return to Japan permanently with the intention of re-migrating to Asia under Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.18 Beginning in 1940, newspapers in foreign languages in Brazil were subjected to censorship. Furthermore, after Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), Japanese immigrants were no longer permitted to publish newspapers even in Portuguese; with the termination of Japanese-language newspapers, the estimated 200,000 Japanese, most of whom did not read Portuguese, lost their only means of staying connected with the news on and from Japan. Brazil severed its diplomatic relations with Japan on January 29, 1942. Furthermore, the Japanese in Brazil not only lost all freedom to travel within the country, as they had to carry officially issued salvo-condutos (travel passes), but were imprisoned if they were caught by the police speaking in public a single word in Japanese; they came to be suspected widely as fifth columnists.19 As the Japanese, unlike Germans and Italians, stood out among Brazilians for their race, many were constantly harassed, arrested, and imprisoned. In February and September 1942, the Japanese residing in São Paulo City’s “Conde neighborhood,” Brazil’s oldest Japan Town, were forced to move by the police. In 1943, the Japanese were evacuated from the port city of Santos for national security. The Brazilian government also froze assets owned by the Japanese and all the other enemy aliens.20

Internal conflicts began to emerge among the Japanese during World War II. Such Japanese secret societies as Tenchu-gumi (Company for Heaven’s Punishment) and Seinen Aikoku Undo (Association for Patriotic Youth) conducted terrorist actions against other Japanese farmers engaged in sericulture and peppermint cultivation for Brazil’s thriving war economy. The situation worsened at the end of the war, when the Japanese in Brazil were divided into two groups over the defeat of Japan: kachigumi (the victory group), who believed in Japan’s victory, and makegumi (the defeat group), who accepted Japan’s defeat. Whether they took any collective action or not, most of the Japanese in Brazil identified themselves as kachigumi, because of their faith in Imperial Japan. Those who identified themselves as makegumi were a small number of Japanese immigrant intellectuals, who spread the news of the defeat of Japan among the Japanese in São Paulo. Shindō Renmei (the League of the Way of the Subjects), the largest and best-known kachigumi association, was established officially in September 1945 as a federation of the Japanese secret societies formed during the war. Within a few months, Shindō Renmei’s membership increased to some twenty thousand Japanese families comprising one hundred thousand persons. Some of its young male members who identified themselves as Tokkotai (Special Attack Corps) resorted to violence against prominent makegumi members, and their terrorist acts resulted in twenty-three dead and eighty-six injured. The escalation of violence terrified Brazilians, and anti-Japanese sentiment peaked in 1946, when the Brazilian Congress voted to ban Japanese immigration to Brazil permanently but did not pass in the end. Shindō Reimei was dissolved in 1947 after the Brazilian police arrested a few thousand kachigumi members and imprisoned 180 of them.21

Postwar Japanese Immigration

After World War II, the Japanese government turned to emigration again to fight overpopulation: sharp food shortage and a high birth rate combined with five million veterans and repatriates returning to the defeated Japan of 1945–1946. On January 18, 1953, fifty-one young Japanese men arrived on a Dutch ship in the port of Santos—all single, self-paid yobiyose immigrants who were “sponsored” by relatives and acquaintances living in Brazil. Kaigai Ijū Kyokai (Association for Overseas Emigration) was established in Tokyo in 1947.22 Upon the enactment of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (April 28, 1952), state-sponsored postwar Japanese immigration to Brazil began during President Vargas’s third term (1951–1954). The so-called Tsuji immigrants (after Kotaro Tsuji: 10 families, 54 persons) arrived in Rio de Janeiro on February 11, 1953, to cultivate jute in the Amazon basin. They were followed by the “Matsubara immigrants” (after Yasutaro Matsubara, known as Vargas’s personal friend: 22 families, 112 persons), who arrived on July 7, 1953, and departed for their destination of Colônia Dourados in Mato Grosso do Sul state. Paulista Sericultural Cooperative sponsored 248 immigrants in 1954. The Japanese government began to sponsor the emigration of Okinawans in 1957, despite the U.S. occupation of Okinawa until 1972.23

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took charge of postwar emigration, with the opening of two national emigrant centers in Kobe (1952) and Yokohama (1956). In 1954, Nihon Kaigai Kyokai Rengōkai (Federation of Overseas Japanese Associations, or Kaikyoren) was established as its extra-departmental body.24 In 1955, the Bureau of Immigration was established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the same year Nihon Kaigai Ijū Shinko Kabushiki Kaisha (Japanese Cooperation to Promote Overseas Immigration, Ltd.) was established in Tokyo with the promised loans of $15 million from three major U.S. banks. In the following year the new Cooperation opened its two local agencies in Rio de Janeiro under Brazilian laws: Imigração e Colonização, Ltda. (JAMIC) for immigration and colonization; and Crédito e Financiamento, Ltda. (IJYUSHINKO) for credit and funding.25 Meanwhile, Japanese companies began to invest in Brazil on a large scale.

In the mid-1950s Japanese government began to sponsor the emigration of single young adult men at the minimum age of 18 years old, mainly in order to fulfill the economic needs of small farmers’ younger sons, who continued to struggle to survive financially in overpopulated Japan and wanted to start a new life overseas. Established in Brazil in 1927 by Japanese potato farmers, Cotia Agricultural Cooperative had grown to more than five thousand members by 1952 and, suffering from a shortage of young male Japanese labor, it turned to immigration from Japan. From 1955 to 1968, 2,295 young single men and 313 others in family units arrived as Cotia immigrants.26 Twenty-two young male agricultural workers arrived in Brazil on June 9, 1956, as the first group of Sangyo Kaihatsu Seinentai (Young Men’s Corps for Industrial Development), and a total of 207 young adult men came to Brazil under this program until 1962, when it was terminated. Not all state-sponsored immigrants were contracted to engage in agriculture in Brazil. In 1961, industrial immigration also started with Japanese state subsidies, targeting young mechanics and craftsmen, and around 1,350 Japanese men arrived under this program over the next twenty years.27

Japan’s postwar immigration to Brazil peaked in 1959 (at 7,041) and 1960 (at 6,832) but declined quickly afterward, due to postwar Japan’s emergence as a world economic power thanks to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo (1964). During the first fifteen years of postwar emigration, the Japanese government made loans to emigrants for their overseas travel expenses, and after five years’ grace, each was obligated to repay the loan to the government over the next fifteenyears via annual installments. As of April 1, 1966, the Japanese government began to fully subsidize new emigrants’ passages to Brazil, while exempting previous ones from repayment.28 Japanese immigrants to Brazil totaled 53,657 by 1993, when the Japanese government finally terminated its state-sponsored emigration.29 Postwar immigrants constitute approximately one-quarter of the Japanese immigrants who have entered Brazil since 1908.

Postwar immigrants differ from their prewar counterparts in several important ways. First, the percentage of yobiyose immigrants rose from only 5 percent in the prewar period to 51.2 percent of postwar immigrants who arrived in Brazil by 1963. Second, because of the change in Brazil’s immigration policy, the proportion of single immigrants increased considerably, from 3.9 percent for the prewar period to 15.5 percent, virtually all men (99.7 percent).30 Third, whereas the majority of prewar immigrants ended up staying in Brazil permanently, around half of the postwar immigrants appear to have returned to Japan.31

Transformation of the Japanese Diaspora

By the end of World War II, the majority of the prewar immigrants had finally given up their hope of returning to Japan; instead they decided to remain in Brazil permanently with and for their Brazilian-born children. Japanese-language newspapers were back in circulation and Japanese-language education resumed in November 1947. In the late 1940s, the Japanese and their families began to move on a large scale from the countryside to major cities, especially São Paulo City. As a result, 44.9 percent of Japanese descendants in Brazil were already living in urban areas by 1958.32 With little capital to invest, Japanese Brazilian migrant families in São Paulo City employed themselves in small family businesses, such as laundry and dyeing services (tinturarias), open-air marketing (feira), vegetable stands or stores (quitandas), mechanic shops, grocery stores, beauty salons, and craft shops.33 Photo studios also became a predominantly Japanese business in the city, while many other men worked as caixeiros viajantes (traveling salesmen).

Japanese immigrants’ small entrepreneurship relied heavily on the unpaid labor of family members, particularly Nisei (second-generation Japanese Brazilian) children. Older children without higher education often worked at home in family businesses, whereas younger ones, particularly sons, were sent to college for the sake of family prestige.34 The first Japanese Brazilian politician came from the city: Yukishige Tamura (1915–2011), a University of São Paulo (USP) Law School graduate (1939), became the first Japanese Brazilian city councilman (1948), proceeded to the São Paulo State Legislature (1951), and was elected as the first Japanese Brazilian deputy (1955). He was soon followed by other elite Nisei men: João Sussumu Hirata, Ioshifumi Utiyama, Shiro Kyono, Diogo Nomura, Antonio Morimoto, and Paulo Nakandare—all from São Paulo—as well as Minoru Miyamoto and Antonio Yoshio Ueno, both from Paraná.35

In the early 1950s, the Japanese in Brazil remained sharply and bitterly divided between kachigumi and makegumi. In response to a request from São Paulo City for support and financial contributions to its celebration of its 400th anniversary (1954–1955), on December 8, 1952, the first postwar Japanese association emerged as Nihonjin Kyoryokukai (Japanese Association for Cooperation) under the leadership of Kiyoshi Yamamoto (1892–1963), an elite businessman who had emerged as a leader among the makegumi intellectuals and played a crucial role in Japanese property-owners’ movement to cancel the Brazilian government’s freeze on Japanese assets during the war. In 1955, Yamamoto dismantled the Kyoryokukai and successfully re-established it as the São Paulo Nihon Bunka Kyokai (São Paulo Association of Japanese Culture). It was renamed in 1968 as the Burajiru Nihon Bunka Kyokai/Sociedade Brasileira de Cultural Japonesa (Brazilian Association of Japanese Culture, known as Bunkyo) and has functioned until the 21st century as the official national center for Japanese Brazilians. As Bunkyo’s first president (1955–1963), Yamamoto successfully led the Japanese in Brazil to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of immigration on June 18, 1958, with the attendance of Prince and Princess Mikasa of Japan. Under Yamamoto’s leadership, the first national survey on the Japanese Brazilian population was conducted with Teiichi Suzuki (1911–1996), a prewar immigrant lawyer, as its director.36

By 1980, many Niseis had attended the prestigious University of São Paulo, where tuition was free (and still is), and became lawyers, medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, and architects. Educated Japanese Brazilians had come to identify themselves as “not a social group but a cultural group,” and one that was in the speedy process of full assimilation.37 Japanese Brazilians had become increasingly mixed with Brazilians racially and culturally. In 1987–1988, while only 6.3 percent of the Nisei were racially mixed, 42 percent of the Sansei (third generation) and 61.64 percent of the Yonsei (fourth generation) were. The percentage of self-identified Catholics among Japanese Brazilians had risen to 59.19 percent.38 Ironically, this is around when Japanese Brazilians’ “return” labor migration to Japan began to take place on a large scale, motivated by Brazil’s troubled economy. The 1980s came to be known as Brazil’s “Lost Decade,” which caused the breakdown of its small middle classes. A great number of Brazilians of all ethnicities and races migrated to various parts of the First World. As of 1991, according to Veja, Brazil’s major weekly news magazine, some 630,000 Brazilians were living and working as immigrants in other countries, including 330,000 in the United States.39 Brazilians in Japan were exceptional in the sense that they constituted approximately 10 percent of all Japanese Brazilians in Brazil as of 1991, and also in that they were documented workers and their families had legitimate visas, unlike others working outside Brazil, who were predominantly illegal immigrants.

Dekassegui: Japanese Brazilians’ “Return” Labor Migration

In both Brazil and Japan, the new “return” labor migration and migrant came to be known as dekassegui in Portuguese, derived from the Japanese word dekasegi, which refers to seasonal labor migrations as well as migrants from rural Japan to major cities such as Tokyo. In 1988–1989, the minimum monthly salary in Brazil was $40–$50 and the inflation rate reached 1,000 percent a year. The average wage in Japan was eight to ten times higher, and one could save $150,000 to $200,000 by working in Japan for two years.40

In Brazil, dekassegui started predominantly with immigrants and Niseis who held Japanese citizenship, most of whom spoke Japanese fluently. It spread to younger generations lacking proficiency in Japanese beginning in June 1990, when the Japanese government partially amended the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to allow Japanese descendants up to the Sansei and their spouses of any ancestry, together with their unwed, minor Yonsei children, to work in Japan in all types of employment. The Nisei became eligible for the three-year “visa for a spouse of the Japanese national and so on,” and the Sansei and their unwed, minor Yonsei children for the “long-term resident visa,” either for a year or for three years. As a result, in the following years, the number of dekasseguis going from Brazil to Japan rose quickly, from 67,300 in 1990 to 250,000 in 1997. The estimated amount of money Brazilians sent back to their families in Brazil amounted to $240 million in 1995 and $190 million in 1996.41

In Japan, all foreign guest workers, including Japanese Brazilians, were supposed to perform hard manual labor characterized as “3Ks”—“kitanai [dirty], kitsui [difficult], and kiken [dangerous].” Japanese Brazilians have added two more Ks—kibishii (harsh) and kirai (hateful)—to call it “5Ks.” As of 1990, the typical dekassegui worker worked more than ten hours a day, with at least two hours’ overtime work at 25 percent added hourly wage. Many also worked night shifts and weekends and holidays for better wages. Not all of the dekasseguis were blue-collar workers; some male college graduates found jobs as systems engineers in Japan.42 In the mid-1990s, approximately half of Japanese Brazilian workers in Japan, both men and women, still worked on assembly lines, while others worked in the construction industry or the service industry, including hotels, hospitals, and golf courses.43 The majority of Japanese Brazilians came to be concentrated in such prefectures of central Japan as Aichi and Shizuoka, followed by Mie, Gifu, Gunma, Nagano, Kanagawa, and Saitama.

In Japan, the locals did not accept Japanese Brazilians as their equals, socially or culturally. In return, Japanese Brazilians, many of whom perceived the Japanese as cold, separated themselves from the local Japanese population to a considerable degree, forming ethnic Brazilian enclaves in various small and middle-sized industrial cities, such as Hamamatsu in Shizuoka prefecture, Toyota in Aichi, and Oizumi in Gunma. Within these “Brazil towns,” Japanese Brazilians spoke Portuguese; published their own Portuguese newspapers; and operated Brazilian restaurants, nightclubs, and bars with Afro-Brazilian samba music. Over the years, Japanese Brazilians’ transnational migration pattern changed significantly from individual, temporary migration (while leaving family behind in Brazil) to permanent, family-unit settlement in Japan. At the end of 2006, 312,979 Brazilians were registered at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The number of Brazilians in Japan continued to grow and reached 316,967 in December 2007.44

Japanese Brazilians Moving Back Home

In 2008, the centenary of Japanese immigration to Brazil was widely celebrated in Brazil, with the June 21 special national ceremony held at São Paulo City’s Anhembi Sambadrome and attended by Japan’s crown prince Naruhito. Whereas the previous celebrations in each decade starting in 1958 had been Japanese driven, it was Brazilians, the Brazilian government, and Brazilian mass media that got heated up for the centenary. By contrast, the Japanese government’s official response was cordial but not particularly enthusiastic. Brazil and Japan used the same logo designed for the centenary celebration, but the latter eliminated the word imigração (immigration) and replaced it with intercâmbio (interchange): Ano do Intercâmbio Japão-Brasil (The Year of Interchange between Japan and Brazil).

The special year of centenary celebrations did not bring a “happy” ending to Japanese Brazilians in Japan, due to the global recession that started in the same year. Many who lost jobs and had no prospect of finding employment in Japan began to return to Brazil, either temporarily or permanently. As a result, the Brazilian population in Japan began to decline in September 2008, and the pace of this decrease escalated in November of the same year. The number of Brazilians returning to Brazil peaked between January 2009 and March 2009, with around 9,000 returnees each month, and began to fall in April 2009, when the Japanese government started sponsoring the repatriation of Latin Americans of Japanese descent. In exchange for 300,000 yen to the applicant and 200,000 yen to each family member, they could not re-enter Japan for the next three years. The program was criticized internationally as “paid deportation” of Brazilian workers and their families. By March 31, 2010, when the program came to an end, a total of 22,403—92 percent of them Brazilians—had applied for paid repatriation. The number of Brazilians registered in Japan declined from 312,582 in 2008 to 230,552 in December 2010. That is, within two years after the beginning of the global recession, more than a quarter of Brazilians in Japan had gone back to Brazil. The Great Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011, made a further impact: 3,882 Brazilians went back to Brazil from the end of March 2011 through the next three months, as the Brazilian government paid their return passages. The number of Brazilian residents in Japan continued to decline: a total of 173,439 were registered in December 2015.45 Once again, Japanese Brazilians have been on the move, this time from Japan back to Brazil.

Discussion of the Literature

During the early 1950s, Japanese social scientists began to study Japanese immigration to Brazil in the context of Japan’s postwar promotion of state-sponsored emigration to Brazil. Such studies were intended mainly to investigate Japanese immigrants’ alleged unwillingness to assimilate in Brazil. From 1952 to 1953, anthropologist Seiichi Izumi (University of Tokyo) conducted his UNESCO-funded research on the Japanese in Brazil, in collaboration with sociologist Hiroshi Saito, who had worked with Emílio Willems and Herbert Baldus at University of São Paulo’s Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (São Paulo School of Sociology and Politics, known as ESP). In 1955–1956, funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Izumi led a group of younger scholars (Masao Gamō, Morio Ōno, Kiyoshi Shima, and Tetsundo Tsuakamoto) to Brazil for a collaborative project on Japanese immigrants and their settlements in Brazil, with Saito and Nobue Miyazaki, a Japanese Brazilian ethnologist, which produced Imin [The Immigrant] (1957), edited by Seiichi Izumi. In 1957–1959, Saito was invited by the Japanese government to teach as a visiting professor at Kobe University, where he also received a Ph.D. in economics for his dissertation, “The Japanese in Brazil,” which was published in Japan (1960) and Brazil (1961). In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil (1958), the Japanese government funded a national survey on Japanese descendants in Brazil, which resulted in the publications edited by Comissão de Receseamento da Colônia Japonesa (1964) and Teiichi Suzuki (1969), among others. Morio Ōno examined the Nisei’s identities for a further discussion on the assimilation of Japanese Brazilians in his edited work, Ratenteki Nihonjin [The Latin Japanese] (1969).

The Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasilerios (CENB) in São Paulo City has played an important role in Japanese Brazilian studies, especially regarding the assimilation and integration of Japanese Brazilians in Brazilian society, with such research staff as Saito, Tomoo Handa, Katunori Wakisaka, Masuji Kiyotani, Takashi Maeyama, José Yamashiro, Susumu Miyao, Koichi Mori, Teiichi Suzuki, and Shinji Tanaka. Maeyama, who arrived on a student visa in 1961, worked with Saito at ESP and joined the National Science Foundation-funded research project on the acculturation of the Japanese in Brazil (1965–1967) with John B. Cornell (University of Texas at Austin) and Robert J. Smith (Cornell University). With a Ph.D. in anthropology from Cornell University (1975), Maeyama returned to Brazil but in 1977 settled permanently in Japan, where he quickly established himself as a specialist of the Japanese in Brazil. Maeyama has published extensively on the subject, with special emphasis on ethnicity and ethnic identity, including three historical monographs on Kumaki Nakao (1981), Margarita Tomi Watanabe (1996), and Saku Miura (2002)—all prominent prewar immigrants in Brazil.

Jeffery Lesser’s Negotiating National Identity (1999) is helpful for understanding Japanese immigration in the context of modern Brazilian history. Using Portuguese sources, Lesser incorporates the Japanese in his study of non-European immigration to Brazil for his hypothesis that, with the passage of time, all no-European, no-African-descendant immigrants and their descendants became ethnic Brazilians, each with a fixed, collective half-and-half “hyphened ethnic Brazilian” identity, such as “Japanese-Brazilian.” His interpretation of the Japanese Brazilian identity is repeated in his Dicontented Diaspora (2007), in which he presents the Nisei’s “militancy” during Brazil’s military government as their resistance as Brazilians against their immigrant parents as Japanese.

In contrast, Stewart Lone’s monograph (2001) is primarily based on Japanese language materials, especially prewar newspapers published in Brazil. As a historian of modern Japan, Lone treats prewar Japanese immigrants and their ways of settlement in Brazil until 1940, emphasizing their “adaptability and success” rather than alienation in the host society. Daniel M. Masterson and Toake Endoh study Japanese immigration to Latin America, including Brazil, from different scholarly positions. Masterson’s The Japanese in Latin America (2004) presents a historical overview of Japanese immigration to Latin America, especially in its economic and political dimensions. Masterson, a historian of modern Peru, not only exhausted Spanish and Portuguese sources but also utilized major Japanese language materials by relying on Sayaka Funada-Classen for necessary translation. In her Exporting Japan (2009), Endoh, a political scientist, examines Japan’s state discourse and policies on state-sponsored emigration to Latin America for the sake of its imperialistic “nation-building goal” propaganda.

Masako Watanabe’s edited volumes on Brazilian dekassegui workers (1995) present abundant statistical information and interesting narratives on the early wave of dekassegui Brazilians in Japan. Anthropologists Daniel Linger (2001), Joshua Hotaka Roth (2002), and Takayuki Tsuda (2003) each conducted long-term field work in Japan during the early-to-mid-1990s among Japanese Brazilian dekassegui workers. Their work focused on specific aspects of the workers’ alienation in their ancestral homeland. In In Search for Home Abroad (2003), Tsuda, Angelo Ishi, and Karen Tei Yamashita each discuss dekassegui Brazilians in Japan, whereas Roth’s chapter examines elderly Japanese immigrants’s ambiguous Japanese identity and Mori examines Okinawan descendants in Brazil. Maxine L. Margolis’s Goodbye Brazil (2013) is a study of large-scale Brazilian emigration to the First World. The book contextualizes dekassegui to Japan, even though its treatment of Brazilians in Japan is based on secondary sources only.

The Nikkei Project coordinated by the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles produced two books on the Nikkei (Japanese descendants) of diverse nationalities. New Worlds, New Lives (2002), edited by Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, Akemi Kitamura-Yano, and James A. Hirabayashi, is an interdisciplinary anthology on Japanese descendants in the Americas and Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry in Japan. It includes three essays concerning Japanese Brazilians by Lesser, Naomi Hoki Monitz, and Masato Ninomiya. Kikumura-Yano also edited Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas (2002), which helps the reader understand Japanese Brazilians in the larger picture of the Japanese diaspora.

Primary Sources

In Brazil, the most important archives on the subject are at the Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil in São Paulo City, inaugurated on June 18, 1978, for the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, with Hiroshi Saito as its first director. It houses a variety of important primary sources, including original colono contracts, records on Japanese agricultural settlements and cooperatives, prewar Japanese Brazilian newspapers, photographs, and the original passenger lists for prewar Japanese immigrants that KKKK donated to Bunkyo upon the closing of its São Paulo office. The CENB, a private Japanese Brazilian research institute established in 1946 by a group of makegumi intellectuals, including the famous self-paid Kasato Maru immigrant Rokuro Kōyama, holds rare books, journals, newsletters, other printed sources, and such manuscript sources in Japanese as Handa’s numerous diaries and other private writings. Also in São Paulo City, the Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo and Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo (located in the former Hospedaria de Imigrantes em São Paulo) hold primary sources in Portuguese on Japanese immigration to São Paulo state. The latter houses the complete list of passengers, including the Japanese, who arrived in the port of Santos from the 1880s to the 1970s, all of which have been digitalized for online consultation.

Diplomatic papers and correspondence on Japanese immigration to Brazil, as well as numerous newspaper clippings in Portuguese, Japanese, and English on the subject, are housed at the Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty, the archives of Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations (Rio de Janeiro). Printed primary sources on Brazil’s immigration policies, the Conselho Nacional de Colonização e Immigração, and other state agencies of immigration, involving Japan and the Japanese, may be consulted at the Biblioteca National do Rio de Janeiro. The Arquivo Nacional do Rio de Janeiro houses a small number of manuscript and printed sources on Japanese immigrants and their settlements in Brazil.

The Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Tokyo) holds diplomatic papers and correspondence on Japanese immigration to Brazil, including on KKKK and other agencies of emigration to Brazil, emigrants’ letters, records on immigrant ships, reports on Japanese “colonies” in Brazil, remittances from Brazil, and Brazilian immigration policies. The National Diet Library (Tokyo) holds numerous printed primary sources on Japanese immigration to Brazil, some of which have been digitized for online consultation. The primary sources (manuscripts, journals, recorded interviews), both as originals and on microfilms collected on-site in the mid-1980s in Brazil, can be consulted at its Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room for the “Materials on Japanese Emigration.” The National Diet Library also owns some prewar and postwar Japanese-language newspapers published in Brazil. The National Archive of Japan in Tokyo houses documents on prewar Japan’s emigration laws and policies as well as on emigration companies. Nippon Rikkokai (Tokyo), which was established in 1897 and soon began to promote young men’s overseas migrations, houses all the back numbers of its newsletter Rikko Sekai, documents on its promotion of emigration to Brazil, as well as prewar Japan’s Ministry of Colonial Affairs’ publications on prewar Japanese immigration to Brazil and other printed primary sources, which were collected personally by its second president, Shigeshi Nagata (1881–1973). The Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama, which was inaugurated in 2002 under the Japan International Corporation Agency, holds numerous primary sources on Kaikyoren, JEMIS, and other state and civil agencies for postwar migration to Brazil, including their pamphlets, newsletters, application forms, promotion films, as well as printed sources on prefectural offices and associations and public offices for their promotion of overseas migration. Furthermore, the Kobe University Research Institute for Economic Development and Business Administration houses at its library important primary sources on prewar Japanese immigration to Brazil in its Central and Latin American Collection, including newspaper clippings, which have been digitalized and are made available for consultation on the university’s webpage.

Additionally, in the United States, Robert J. Smith’s personal collection of invaluable printed primary sources in Japanese on Japanese immigrants in Brazil has been donated to Cornel University Library for general consultation. His personal papers and manuscripts may be consulted at the Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections for the Robert J. Smith papers 1713–2005, Series VII: The Japanese in Brazil.

Links to Digital Materials

Further Reading

  • Burajiru Okinawa Kenjinkai Nihongo Henshu Iinkai, ed. Burajiru Okinawa-kenjin Iminhi: Kasato Maru kara 90-nen [The History of Okinawan Immigration: 90 Years since the Kasato Maru]. São Paulo: Associação Okinawa Kenjin do Brasil, 2000.
  • Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, ed. Burajiru Nihon Imin Nikkei Shakaishi Nenphō: Handa Tomoo hen-cho Kaitei Zōho Ban [Chronological Table of Japanese Immigration to Brazil and Japanese Brazilian Social History: A Revised and Expanded Version of the Original by Tomoo Handa]. São Paulo: Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, 1996.
  • Comissão de Receseamento da Colônia Japonesa, ed. The Japanese Immigrant in Brazil: Statistical Tables. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1964.
  • Dezem, Rogério. Inventário Depos: Módulo III, Japoneses: Shindô-Renmei: terrorismo e represessão. São Paulo: Arquivo do Estado, Impresa Oficial, 2000.
  • Endoh, Toake. Exporting Japan: Politics of Emigration Toward Latin America. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
  • Handa, Tomoo. Imin no Seikatsu no Rekishi: Brajiru Nikkei Imin no Ayunda Michi [A History of the Immigrant Life: The Path Japanese Brazilians Walked]. São Paulo: Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasilerios, 1970.
  • Imin Hachijūnnenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed. Burajiru Nihon Imin Hachijūnenshi [The Eighty-Year History of Japanese Immigration to Brazil]. São Paulo: Imin Hachijūnnensai Iinkai and Sociedade Brasileira da Cultura Brasileira, 1991.
  • Izumi, Seiichi, ed. Imin: Burajiru Imin no Jittai Chōsa [The Immigrant: A Survey on Japanese Immigrants in Brazil]. Tokyo: Kokinshoten, 1957.
  • Japan, Gaimushō Ryōji Ijūbu [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Department of Overseas Migration]. Waga Kokumin no Kaigai Hatten: Ijū Hyakunen no Ayumi [Our Country’s Overseas Expansion: The Course of One-Hundred-Year Emigration], 2 vols. Tokyo: Gaimushō Ryōji Ijūbu, 1971.
  • Leão Neto, Valdemar Carneiro. A crise da imigração japonesa no Brasil, 1930–1934: Contornos diplomáticos. Brasília: Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão, Instituto de Pesquisa de Relações Internacionais, 1990.
  • Lesser, Jeffrey. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 1999.
  • Lesser, Jeffrey, ed. Search for Home Abroad: Japanese Brazilians and the Transnational Moment. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2003.
  • Linger, Daniel Touro. No One Home: Brazilian Selves Made in Japan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.
  • Lone, Stewart. The Japanese Community in Brazil, 1908–1940: Between Samurai and Carnival. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave, 2001.
  • Maeyama, Takashi. Imin no Nihon Kaiki Undo [Japanese Immigrants’ Repatriation Movement to Japan]. Tokyo: Nippon Hōsō Kyokai, 1982.
  • Masterson, Daniel M., with Sayaka Funada-Classen. The Japanese in Latin America. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
  • Nishida, Mieko. Diaspora and Identity: Japanese Brazilians in Brazil and Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, to appear in 2017.
  • Nogueira, Arlinda Rocha. A imigração japonesa para a lavoura cafeeira paulista (1908–1922). São Paulo: Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros, 1973.
  • Roth, Joshua Hotaka. Brokered Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Migrants in Japan. Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2002.
  • Saito, Hiroshi. Burajiru no Nihonjin [The Japanese in Brazil]. Tokyo: Maruzen Kabushiki Kaisha, 1960.
  • Saito, Hiroshi. O Japonês no Brasil: estudo de mobilidade e fixação. São Paulo: Editôra “Sociologia e Política,” 1961.
  • Saito, Hiroshi, and Takashi Maeyama. Assimilação e integração dos Japoneses no Brasil. Petrópolis, Brasil: Editora Vozes, 1973.
  • Suzuki, Teiichi, ed. The Japanese Immigrant in Brazil: Narrative Part. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1969.
  • Takeuchi, Marcia Yumi. O perigo amarelo em tempos de guerra (1939–1949). São Paulo: Arquivo do Estado e Imprensa Oficial do Estado, 2002.
  • Tsuda, Takayuki. Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Migration in Translational Perspective. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  • Watanabe, Masako, ed. Kyodo Kenkyu Dekasegi Nikkei Brajirujin. [Studies on Japanese Brazilian Dekassegui Workers]. 2 vols. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 1995.
  • Yamashiro, José. Trajetória de duas vidas: uma história de immigração e integração. São Paulo: Aliança Cultural Brasil-Japão/Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, 1996.


  • 1. Thomas H. Holloway, Immigrants on the Land: Coffee and Society in São Paulo, 1886–1934 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980), 70–71, 35–39.

  • 2. Jeffrey Lesser, Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 1999), 16.

  • 3. Seiichi Izumi, “Burajiru no Nikkei Colônia” [The Nikkei Colony in Brazil], in Imin: Burajiru Imin no Jittai Chōsa [The Immigrant: A Survey on Japanese Immigrants in Brazil], ed. Seiichi Izumi (Tokyo: Kokin Shoten, 1957), 18; and Hiroshi Saito, Burajiru no Nihonjin [The Japanese in Brazil] (Tokyo: Maruzen Kabushiki Kaisha, 1960), 82–83.

  • 4. Michio Yamada, Fune ni Miru Nihonjin Iminshi: Kasato Maru kara Kuruzu Kyakusen Ye [A History of Emigration through Ships: From the Kasato Maru to Cruise Ships] (Tokyo: Chūōkōronsha, 1998), 13.

  • 5. Rokurō Kōyama, Imin Yonjūnenshi [Forty-Year History of (Japanese) Immigration (to Brazil)] (São Paulo: Rokurō Kōyama, 1949), 23–24.

  • 6. Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (hereafer DAMFA), 3.8.2. 300-1-1; Yamada, Fune ni Miru, 63, 65, 68.

  • 7. Yamada, Fune ni Miru, 69; Izumi, “Burajiru no Nikkei Colônia,” p. 22, table 2.

  • 8. Teiichi Suzuki, ed., The Japanese Immigrant in Brazil: Narrative Part (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1969), 195.

  • 9. DAMFA, 1.2.0. J 3–5, vol.1; and Ikutaro Aoyagi, Burajiru ni Okeru Nihonjin Hattenshi [The History of Japanese Development in Brazil], vol. 2 (Tokyo: Burajiru ni Okeru Nihonjin Hattenshi Kankō Iinkai, 1942), ch. 1–3; and Saito, Burajiru no Nihonjin, 216–218.

  • 10. Izumi, “Burajiru no Nikkei Colônia,” 22, table 2; Yasuo Wakatsuki and Jōji Suzuki, Kaigai Ijū Seiseku Shiron [A Historical Discussion of Japan’s Overseas Migration Policies] (Tokyo: Fukumura Shuppan, 1974), 67–71.

  • 11. Suzuki, ed., The Japanese Immigrant, 194.

  • 12. Izumi, “Burajiru no Nikkei Colônia,” 29.

  • 13. Saito, Burajiru no Nihonjin, 78; Takashi Maeyama, “Ethnicity, Secret Societies, and Associations: The Japanese in Brazil,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 21.4 (1979): 591.

  • 14. Izumi, “Burajiru no Nikkei Colônia,” 34–36.

  • 15. Takashi Maeyama, Imin no Nihon Kaiki Undo [Japanese Immigrants’ Repatriation Movement to Japan] (Tokyo: Nippon Hōsō Kyokai, 1982), 94.

  • 16. Maeyama, “Ethnicity, Secret Societies, and Associations,” 595–596.

  • 17. Imin 70-nenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Burajiru Nihon Imin 70-nenshi, 1908–1978 [The Seventy-Year History of Japanese Immigration to Brazil] (São Paulo: Burajiru Nihon Bunka Kyokai, 1980), 308.

  • 18. Bunkyo Yonjūnenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Bunkyo Yonjūnenshi [Bunkyo’s History of Forty Years] (São Paulo: Burajiru Nihon Bunka Kyokai, 1998), 18; Imin Hachijūnnenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Burajiru Nihon Imin Hachijūnenshi [The Eighty-Year History of Japanese Immigration to Brazil] (São Paulo: Imin Hachijūnnensai Iinkai and Sociedade Brasileira da Cultura Brasileira, 1991), 102–103; Arquivo Público de Estado de São Paulo, Seção de Manuscritos, CO9831 and CO9832.

  • 19. Nihon Maikuro Shashin, “Burajiru Nihon Imin Shiryokan Shozo Bunsho Shiryo” [Documents Housed at the Museum of Japanese Immigration to Brazil], 35 mm microfilm rolls, 73 volumes (Tokyo: Nihon Maikuro Shashin, 1985), vols. 35–37.

  • 20. Imin Hachijūnnenshi, ed. Burajiru Nihon Imin, 146–150.

  • 21. Imin Hachijūnnenshi, ed. Burajiru Nihon Imin, 168–173; and Rogério Dezem, Inventário Deops: Módulo III, Japoneses: Shindô-Renmei: terrorismo e represessão (São Paulo: Arquivo do Estado, Impresa Oficial, 2000), 64–81.

  • 22. Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan Jūnenshi [Ten-Year History of Japan Emigration Service] (Tokyo: Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, 1973), 19–21.

  • 23. Sengo Ijū 50-shunen Kinesai Jikko Iinkai, ed., Burajiru Imin Sengo Ijū no 50-nen (São Paulo: Burajiru-Nippon Ijūsha Kyokai, 2004), 32, 196, 216–217.

  • 24. Kaikyoren merged into Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan (Japan Emigration Service, JEMIS) in 1963, and eventually replaced by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 1974.

  • 25. Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, 30–37.

  • 26. Sengo Ijū, ed., Burajiru Imin Sengo Ijū, 205–206.

  • 27. Sengo Ijū, ed., Burajiru Imin Sengo Ijū, 36, 50.

  • 28. Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, Kaigai Ijū Jigyodan, 118–119.

  • 29. Akemi Kikumura-Yano, ed., Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas: An Illustrated History of the Nikkei (Walnut Creek, Lanham, New York, and Oxford: Altamira Press, 2002), 145, table 4.1.

  • 30. Suzuki, ed., The Japanese Immigrant, 182–183.

  • 31. Nikkey Shimbun, “Sengo Imin no Yakuwari towa Nanika: Tokubetsu Zadankai [What Are the Roles of Postwar Immigrants?: A Special Roundtable Discussion], Nikkeiy Shimbun, June 30, 2011.

  • 32. Suzuki, ed., The Japanese Immigrant, 36, table 2.

  • 33. Paulista Shimbunsha, Colônia Sangyō Chizu [The Map of the Colônia’s Industry] (São Paulo: Paulisuta Shimbunsha, 1962), 55–69.

  • 34. Takashi Maeyama, Ibunka Sesshoku to Aidentiti: Brajiru Shakai to Nikkeijin [Cultural Contact and Identity: Brazilian Society and Japanese Brazilians] (Tokyo: Ochanomiju Shobo, 2001), 24–28.

  • 35. Paulista Shimbun, Paulista Nenkan 1963-nenban [Paulista Yearbook of 1963] (São Paulo: Paulista Shimbun, 1963), 21.

  • 36. Bunkyo Yonjūnenshi, ed., Bunkyo Yonjūnenshi, 32–67.

  • 37. Imin Hachijūnnenshi, ed., Burajiru Nihon Imin, 264–267; Tomoo Handa, Imin no Seikatsu no Rekishi: Brajiru Nikkei Imin no Ayunda Michi [A History of the Immigrant life: The Path Japanese Brazilians Walked] (São Paulo: Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasilerios, 1970), ch. 22; and Hiroshi Saito, Gaikokujin ni Natta Nihonjin: Burajiru Imin no Ikikata to Kawarikata [The Japanese Who Became Foreigners: How Japanese Immigrants Lived and Changed in Brazil] (Tokyo: Simul Press, 1978), 105–118.

  • 38. Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, ed., Burajiru ni Okeru Nikkei Jinko Chōsa Hokokusho, 1987–1988 [A Survey on the Nikkei Population in Brazil, 1987–1988] (São Paulo: Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, n. d.), 120, 37.

  • 39. “O povo da diáspora,” Veja 24.32 (August 7, 1991): 37.

  • 40. Mita, “Dekasegi” Kara, 153.

  • 41. Kiyoto Tannno, “Gaikokujin Rōdōsha Mondai no Kongen wa Doko ni Arunoka” [Where are the Roots of the Issues of Foreign Workers], Nihon Rōdō Kenkyu Zasshi 587 (June 2009): 30; and Betsy Brody, Opening the Doors: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Globalization in Japan (New York: Routledge, 2001), ch. 5.

  • 42. Kazuaki Tezuka, Hiroshi Komai, Goro Oda, and Taka-aki Ogata, eds., Gaikokujin Rōdōsha no Shuro Jitsutai: Sogoteki Jitsutai Hokokushū [Employment of Foreign Guest Workers in Japan: A Thorough Report on the Reality] (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 1992), 252.

  • 43. Yoko Sellek, “Nikkeijin: The Phenomenon of Return Migration,” in Japan’s Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity, ed. Michael Weiner (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 193.

  • 44. Japan, Ministry of Justice, “Zairyu Gaikokuji Tôkei Tôekihyo” [Statistical Tables of Foreign Residents in Japan].

  • 45. Naoto Higuchi, “Keizai Kiki to Zainichi Burajirujin: Nani ga Tairyo Shitsugyo Kikoku o Motarashitanoka” [Economic Crises and Brazilians in Japan: What Brought Them Mass Unemployment and Made Them Return to Brazil], Ōhara Shakai Mondai Kenkyusho 622 (August 2010): 53–55; Coco Masters, “Japan to Immigrants: Thanks, But You Can Go Home Now,” Time, April 20, 2009; Nikkey Shimbun, “Kikoku Shienkin, Shinseishasu Zentai de 2 mannin, Burajiru ga 9 wari Shimeru” [Government-Sponsored Repatriation: 20,000 Applied and Brazilians Constitute 90 percent], Nikkey Shimbun, April 20, 2010; Nikkey Shimbun, “Shinsaigo Kihakusha Hakuji Sosu wa Yaku 3-sennin: Zaikaku 22-mannin” [The Number of Brazilians Who Have Gone Back to Brazil after the (Great Tohoku) Earthquake Is Approximately 3,000; Total of Brazilians in Japan Is Around 220,000], Nikkey Shimbun, October 5, 2011; and Japan, Ministry of Justice, “Zairyu Gaikokuji.”