Enrique Higa Sakuda

Enrique Higa is a Peruvian Sansei (third generation, or grandchild of Japanese immigrants), journalist and Lima-based correspondent for the International Press, a Spanish-language weekly published in Japan.

Updated August 2009

community en ja es pt

Traditional Foods and Rituals to Start the New Year

These days, it’s easy to find Japanese or Nikkei food in Lima. Perhaps the day when Japanese restaurants are as common as the popular “chifas” (Chinese-Peruvian restaurants), which can be found everywhere, isn’t far off.

Ten years ago, it wasn’t so easy. Much less during the previous century. When Japanese food was still something eccentric in Peru and only known to members of the Japanese-Peruvian community, there were just a few occasions on which a Nikkei could enjoy it. These were special occasions, of course, because it wasn’t something for every day. Like a mass, for ...

Read more

identity en ja es pt

Japan, not so close anymore

I was pleased to learn that Chile had shut out Japan 4-0 in the most recent version of the America Cup soccer tournament. I hoped that Uruguay and Ecuador, their subsequent rivals, would beat Japan as well. I wanted Japan to leave South America with zero points. I was angry that the Japanese had shown a lack of respect for the America Cup by sending their B team, as if it wasn’t worth sending their best players. Of course, South America wasn’t worth the effort. Japan would never send its B team to the European Cup.

For many ...

Read more

sports en ja es pt

The Olympic Dream That a Group of Young Nisei Transformed into Reality in Tokyo

“We asked ourselves, how is this possible? There won’t be any Nisei at the Tokyo Olympics?”

The speaker is Luis Toyama, former president of the Nisei University Students Association of Peru (known as AUNP), an organization created in 1961 by university students whose parents were from Japan. The group organized cultural activities to promote Peruvian-Japanese relations and engaged in social work to help low-income people, among other activities.

By “we” he is referring to AUNP members and “the Tokyo Olympics” refers to the Olympic Games that were held in Tokyo in 1964.

The Nisei youth couldn’t believe that ...

Read more

migration en ja es pt

Yokichi Nouchi: The Japanese Immigrant Who Made History at Machu Picchu

Everyone knows about Machu Picchu. But what few people know, even in Peru’s Nikkei community, is that the Inca citadel and Japanese immigration to Peru are connected by one person. His name: Yokichi Nouchi.

Born in Fukushima Prefecture in 1895, Nouchi was one of 18,727 Japanese who arrived in Peru between 1899 and 1923 as contract migrants.

This year marks 100 years since Yokichi came to Peru to work at San Nicolás plantation, north of Lima.

How did he get from Lima to Cuzco? His daughter Luz Marina, with assistance from her memories and papers she still ...

Read more

identity en ja es pt

Memories of a Matador

The ocean has always had great significance in the life of Mitsuya Higa. Ever since he was a child, he has been going to Callao’s La Punta district to swim or simply gaze at the sea. Now 83 years old, he no longer swims, but he still visits La Punta regularly because, he says, the ocean fills him with peace.

While living in Madrid in the 1960s, chasing his dream of becoming a matador, he missed the ocean. “I needed my bit of ocean, to see a lot of water in one place,” he says.

When I visit, I ...

Read more