The Brazilian-Japanese

by joe on July 30, 2011

In Tokyo, you might be surprised to hear the sounds of Brazilian Portuguese from people who look to be of Japanese descent. Since the early 20th century, there has been something of a revolving door between Japan and Brazil, with Japanese immigrants settling in Brazil, returning back to Japan, and sometimes again returning to Brazil.

Although the two cultures could not be more different (and this sometimes accounts for the re-settling of Brazilian Japanese in Brazil), there is a bit of cultural cross-pollination in both countries. Brazil has a “Little Tokyo,” and in Tokyo itself, you can find characteristic Brazilian barbecue restaurants, one of which is the Barbacoa Grill in the chic Omotesando neighborhood. Brazilian-Japanese have also imported the musical traditions of Brazil into Japan, celebrating the samba with a carnival parade.

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