On June 18th, 1908, after 52 sailing the oceans (literally), the ship Kasato Maru arrived at the Port of Santos with a load of 781 Japanese inmigrants. Many ships followed the first one and hundreds of thousands of Japanese moved from the land of the rising sun to somewhat more tropical latitudes.
Today, it is estimated 1 million and a half Japanese descendants live in Brazil. 75% of them are found on the state of São Paulo. 10% on the state of Paraná. And the remaining 15% are spread through the states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. The population exchange works both ways. The Japanese Ministry of Justice estimates that in 2006 there were 313.000 Brazilians (descendants from Japanese emigrants) working in Japan (they are known as dekasseguis).
One hundred years later, Brazil gets ready to celebrate the hundreth anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese inmigrants in Brazil, and to pay homage to their vast contribution to the development of the Brazilian nation.
All the information related to the activities organized to celebrate the centenary can be found at the website of the Associação para Comemoração do Centenário da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil. The calendar of events has just been announced and can be consulted, month by month, at the following pages: January, February, March, April. As new months are added to the list we will do so as well at this blog.
The outstanding moment of the centenary celebrations will be the Japanese Culture Week, which will take place in São Paulo from 13 to 22 June and will be crowned with a big party on the 21 and 22 June (Saturday and Sunday) which will be attended by Nahurito, Crown Prince of Japan.
Usual readers of the blog are aware of how fond we are of Japanese culture in their Brazilian embodiment. The oriental quarter of Liberdade, in São Paulo, has popped up a few times at this blog:
P.S.: thanks to the Press Office of the Centenary Association for the information pack they sent us.