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

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 and …

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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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community en pt

Nikkei Youth Associations in Brazil: ABEUNI

Among the youth associations created under the Nikkei initiative in Brazil, one of the most solid is ABEUNI (Portuguese acronym for Beneficent Universitary Alliance of Sao Paulo). In 2014, it had completed 30 years in operation.

“Our mission is to improve the population’s welfare through humanized care, promoting health, education, and citizenship combined with personal and social development of the volunteers,” explains Cecilia Ikedo, third generation Nikkei, data analyst, and current president.

The association was created from ABENIBRA (Portuguese acronym for Nipo-Brazilian Beneficent Association), composed of doctors and healthcare professionals that assist Japanese immigrants who do not have access to …

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community en pt

What is that?

I was not raised in a family which followed the strict Japanese traditions. When I was a kid, we spoke in Portuguese almost all the time. In Japanese, only a few greetings, some verbs, and names of food, places, and objects.

It was all very natural for me. So natural that I didn't realize other people may not understand.

The first confusion that I recall happened in 1986, when I was in the first year of elementary school, 6 years old. When the teacher made the call for presence, I replied:

Hai!”—exactly the way my parents taught me …

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community en pt

Nikkei Associations: Bunkyo Youth Commission

The Comissao de Jovens do Bunkyo (CJB, Bunkyo Youth Commission) is a section of the Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura Japonesa e Assistência Social – Bunkyo (Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance), an entity that promotes Japanese culture in Brazil, whose head office is located at Liberdade district, São Paulo.

Founded in February 1997, named Seinen Bunkyo at that time, CJB has gone through some name changes but always maintaining its primary goal: to preserve and spread Japanese culture.

Among its members, Japanese ancestry is not required. This year, for the second time ever, the president of the Commission …

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