Henrique Minatogawa

Henrique Minatogawa is a freelance journalist and photographer, Brazilian third generation Japanese descendant. His family origins are Okinawa, Nagasaki and Nara prefectures. In 2007, he was granted a scholarship Kenpi Kenshu in Nara prefecture. In Brazil, has been working for 4 years in the coverage of events related to Japanese culture. (Photo: Henrique Minatogawa / Nikko Fotografia)

Updated July 2014 

community en pt

Kawaii Ambassador of Brazil

Akemi Matsuda, second-generation Nikkei, had lived in Japan from 3 to 19 years old. There, she completed elementary school and, later, opted for what in Brazil is called technical education to study classical ballet.

“I attended a school like the Bolshoi in Russia,” she says. “In the morning, we studied regular school subjects normally. After lunch, it was just the practice of classical ballet. We studied the history of ballet, music, how to build a stage... It was all directed towards the formation of dancers.”

In Japan, Akemi was able to work as a ballet dancer. With her training in ...

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culture en pt

A Comic Book Artist In Brazil

I met the designer and comic book artist Cristina Eiko Yamamoto, 37, at the launch of the graphic novel Penadinho – Vida [Penadinho – Life, unavailable in English], which she signs with her husband, Paulo Crumbim.

Before reaching my turn to have the book signed by the authors, I observed Cristina receiving visitors ahead. She stood up, received the book with both hands and returned signed in the same way. Many fans thanked her with a bow.

"I don't know how to be different. For long time (actually even today) I hesitate when talking to an older person, should I call ...

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culture en pt

A Young Traditional Multi-Artist

In Brazil, it is not rare to find a Nikkei practicing one of the Japanese traditional arts. Calligraphy (shodo), tea ceremony (sado or chanoyu), or musical instruments like koto or shamisen are some examples.

However, it is difficult to find someone who does it all regularly. Furthermore, to be able to speak Japanese and have been ordained a Buddhist monk. Against these odds, meet Marcel Ueno, 33, descendant of third generation, whose family originates in the provinces of Fukuoka and Tokushima prefectures.

As a child, Marcel used to watch the not very numerous Japanese cartoons and TV series shown in ...

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community en pt

Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Where I was on March 11, 2011

In March 2011, it was only a month ago that it had begun working on a publishing company focused on Japanese culture. My job was to take care of a site whose content was related to that theme.

At that March 11, in the morning of Brazil, I heard on the radio that a strong earthquake had happened in Japan. Although earthquakes occur regularly in the country, by the tone of the news, I realized that it had been much more serious.

I went to the office, following the news on my cell phone. Estimates of the number of deaths ...

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education en pt

Students Talk About Succeeding the Noryoku Shiken and the Study of Japanese Language

For the Japanese language students in Brazil, the beginning of the year is usually the time to wait for the result of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT or Nihongo Noryoku Shiken).

In the country, the exam takes place in early December; the results usually arrive by mail in late January. It does not really take much time, but the report is awaited with much anxiety by the applicants. There is even a saying that “the result of Noryoku Shiken arrives just when you forget about it.”

According to the JLPT official website, the exam is applied in 206 cities in ...

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