Brazilian of Japanese descents (Portuguese)

Defining the term "Nikkei" (Portuguese) Brazilian of Japanese descents (Portuguese) Japan's impact on the image of Nikkei in Brazil (Portuguese) Change in sense of Nikkei Brazilian identity over time (Portuguese) Nikkei community concentrated in São Paulo (Portuguese) Changing life styles of successive generations (Portuguese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Portuguese) Well, I don’t think it’s possible for us to separate, right? With our appearance, you can’t separate yourself and say, “I’m not Nikkei.” Not only because people, society, everyone who’s around you demands it. They very often call out, “Hey, Japanese, Japanese.” In reality they’re calling your Nikkei side, right.

So, I think that at a certain point in my life, and I can tell you that it was as a young person, we struggle a lot with this thing of being of Japanese descent. You enter the general society, right, in this case Brazilian society, and you want to be Brazilian like everybody else. In truth, I believe that because you are Nikkei, you do have some unique qualities, you have a culture that you inherited from your ancestors. So then, at a certain point, this becomes a strong influence in your life, right. And then my work, you know, has always been connected to the Japanese community. But, I just don’t think you can separate it. For me personally, I couldn’t separate it because I’d always be in conflict with myself.

So I think the great challenge in my life, from the time I was a young person all the way to the present, is how to bring these two sides together, and how to use these two parts in a creative way. In a way that contributes to society or to culture in general.

Date: October 7, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

Brazil identity nikkei

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Submissions accepted until September 30.

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