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 in the coverage of events related to Japanese culture. (Photo: Henrique Minatogawa)

Updated July 2020

business en pt

Japanese Barber Shop in São Paulo

When a Nikkei gets a haircut in Brazil, they often hear that “cutting Oriental people’s hair is difficult.” The reason given is that the strands are very smooth, sometimes too thin, sometimes too thick. Thus, it would be difficult to make different hairstyles, and the cuts show errors more easily.

To meet this demand, currently, there are many hairdressing salons specializing in Easterners. They also offer dye services, manicures, and other aesthetic services, with the target audience mainly made up of women.

Haircutting is a service that involves some periodicity—people hardly go every day—different from a store or a restaurant, …

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community en pt

Festival do Japão (Japan Festival)

Festival do Japão (Japan Festival) is one of the main events of the Nikkei community in Brazil, especially regarding physical space, attractions, and number of visitors. In 2015, it reached its 18th edition.

The event is organized by Kenren, the federation of the Japanese prefectures associations in Brazil. This year, Japan Festival was held on July 24, 25, and 26.

The organization estimated the number of visitors to be about 180,000 people. Entrance is paid, but all internal activities are free. Also, there are free shuttles between the event and the nearest subway station.

At each festival, organizers choose a …

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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 classical …

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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 …

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