Asociación Peruano Japonesa

The Japanese Peruvian Association (Asociación Peruano Japonesa, APJ) is a nonprofit organization that brings together and represents Japanese citizens who live in Peru and their descendants, as well as their institutions.

Updated May 2009

community en ja es pt

Nikkei New Year: A History of Oshogatsu Since the Time of the Issei

I spent almost all of my childhood with my grandmother. Her customs, which were of course very Japanese, were reflected in her daily life. She didn't celebrate Christmas, but she did celebrate Oshogatsu (New Year in Japanese).

In those days, I remember that preparations for Oshogatsu began on December 31. Starting at dawn, we cleaned the house, while my mother cooked. She spent the entire morning cooking tofu, a pork dish with turnips and carrots, kombu knots, plenty of sushi and even sweet potato and vegetable tempura. All of this food was prepared as an offering for the butsudan ...

Read more

community en ja es pt

The Japanese Language in Peruvian Speech

Languages crossed national borders well before globalization and today, in any part of the world, you can hear other languages spoken with both native and foreign accents. But what causes one language to incorporate words from another language and appropriate them for everyday use?

Japanese culture figures prominently in Peru, as does the Japanese language, which has been assimilated by young people and adults through consumption of diverse products, media figures, and colloquial usage. It’s not surprising, then, that some Japanese words are not identified as Japanese despite being used frequently.

As with English, certain terms have become universal ...

Read more

war en es

Memories of Hiroshima: 70 Years after the Atomic Bomb

Manuel Yoneyama was 16 when the atomic bomb devastated Hiroshima. It was 8:15 a.m., and Manuel was at home with his parents and siblings. He remembers an intense light (“like a camera flash”) covering the sky, and five minutes later a loud bang, or as he describes it, a “powerful boom.”

He lived 12 kilometers from where the bomb landed and no one in his family was hurt. For a month after the bomb attack, his parents forbade him from going to the city or the military factory where he worked.

“Luckily that was a day of yasumi ...

Read more

war en es

Crystallizing Dreams: Testimony of Chieko Kamisato, former Crystal City resident

Chieko Kamisato is a Peruvian-American Nisei who spent time at the Crystal City concentration camp in the United States between 1944 and 1946. Recently, she visited Peru to reconnect with some friends as well as with the past. Her memories, reflecting a lifetime of difficulties and overcoming obstacles, deserve to be shared.

The story begins with her father Junken. Originally from Okinawa, he arrived in Peru in 1915. Awaiting him were his older brothers, with whom he worked in various trades. Seven years later, he brought over his wife, Kami—Chieko’s mother.

Junken and his brothers walked the streets ...

Read more

community en es

Crystal City, 70 Years Later: Memories of War - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>


A siren announced Japan's surrender.  Many Japanese refused to believe that their country had been defeated, but the war had come to an end, making the concentration camp unnecessary.

The question now being asked was: What is to become of the Japanese from Peru and their children?  The Peruvian government prohibited their return.  Rejected by the very same government that had expelled them, some Japanese put down roots in the United States, while others returned to Japan, only to find hunger and devastation.

The Tochio Villanueve family considered emigrating to Japan.  The ...

Read more