Today in our already traditional column we talk about national ghettos – a story about one of the most exotic districts in São Paulo – about Liberdade. It is there where the world’s largest Japanese diaspora lives. Immigration from the Land of the Rising Sun began in 1908 when 165 families arrived on Brazilian land ...
Coffee Instead of Rice
As far back as in early twentieth century Japanese authorities were concerned about over-population of their territory-wise small state. Government was hurriedly concluding agreements with many countries that might need workforce. The United states were the first to open their gates for Asians; about a million Japanese live there now. But what became a true boom was emigration to a distant Brazil that began in 1908. On July, 18 the Kasato Maru ship (that had been won back from Russians several years prior during Russo-Japanese War) sailed to the Port of Santos. 165 families descended to warm and blooming ground from its board, hoping to start a new life in a state of such a size that it allows thinking about future.
Majority of those almost 800 people were farmers who traded rice plantations and factories for coffee ones. Nobody rolled out a red carpet for them – local newspapers were vying with each other to print humiliating caricatures while working people casted hateful glances at those who had come to take their workplaces. Nevertheless, for the offspring of samurai, who were accustomed to difficulties, it was just a beginning of mass resettlement. Stern and disciplined Japanese didn’t get scared of problems and racial conflicts – they kept together organized and quite literally gnawed out their right for life in a foreign country.Photo pinterest.com
Today one can say that they withstood because their diaspora constitutes about two million persons and the two peoples became so affined that sociologists even came up with a new term Nisei – to call assimilated natives of the Land of the Rising Sun whose children were born in Brazil and with their native language being Portuguese. How many of them are there – it is hard for statistics to specify.
Free District – For Free People
Vast majority of Asian migrants settled in large cities. São Paulo caught their fancy most, and in particular legendary Liberdade district, its name translates as ‘liberty’. However, up to 1850s it was called far gloomier – Gallows Square – it was there where public executions used to take place. Still, after abolition of slavery and unprecedented event when three ropes in a row tore and a condemned person had to be beaten to death with sticks to the cries “Freedom!”, municipal authorities decided to rename the place and abolish exemplary punishment.Photo archdaily.com
First Japanese appeared there in 1912. Since Brazilians didn’t want to live in the place of former guillotines and gallows, migrants found themselves as nearly as proudly alone. Without paying attention to notoriety of the district, they got to adjusting it to themselves with truly Eastern diligence. They managed to create all infrastructure needed for life from the ground up and turned depressive Liberdade into a bright and colorful district. In order to feel themselves like home, alongside everything else, as far back as in twenties century they opened Japanese school, own newspaper São Paulo Shimbun and even a factory that produces famous tofu cheese.
Today Liberdade doesn’t just live – it prospers. Citizens of São Paulo and tourists adore local food, bars and distinctive street color. This place literally extracts you from a common notion of a South American city and it seems that when getting out on Liberdade or São Joaquim metro stations you suddenly end up in Tokyo. And there is no surprise in it, because over 300 thousand Japanese live on a relatively small territory, as they say: the more the merrier – there is still more space than in their Motherland.
Places to Visit
Aside from this amazing Asian world, that is interesting per se, several landmarks are situated within a block’s walk. Should you take the main street Rua Galvão Bueno, you’re sure not to miss them. Major object is Museum of Japanese Immigration opened in 1978 by current Emperor of Japan, Akihito himself. Among curios exhibits there is a fragment of that very pioneer ship Kasato Maru. Roof of the building is decorated with a majestic garden.Photo itinari.com
A little to the east Busjinji Temple is situated – prime sanctuary of the district. Monthly captivating Buddhist ceremony of Canon is held there and it is a true attraction for Brazilians to have a look at it. Another sacred place is a monument to Japanese migrants who went back to their Homeland to take to weapons during World War II.
The neighborhood is especially full of decoration during Eastern holidays while holding traditional market. It normally takes place on weekends and on such days it feels like the whole Sampa parties in Liberdade. The district itself is rightfully considered phenomenal by explorers and philosophers because such both physically and mentally distant states as Brazil and Japan became very close in twentieth century due to joint residence of their citizens. Several social programs operate between the two states and nowadays it is South Americans who go for work to Japan and get settled in Japanese streets and cities – but that’s already a different story.
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes.
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
Ordering coffee, we usually refer to it just as Americano, Espresso or Latte... However, good coffee shops that offer really high-quality coffee, would ask you to specify a type of coffee beans and the country of origin. And at this point many visitors usually feel at deadlock.
Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius!, Nietzsche exclaimed in a prophetic ecstasy. Gloomy pathos of the philosopher could be hardly understood by the residents of the Japanese city of Kagoshima, located at the bottom of the caldera Aira resulting from the explosion about 22 thousand years ago. Farmers were hoeing edges of the hollow from the Bronze Age, as usual fending off the ashes scattered in the air.
So, to wash your hands, you have to leave indoor slippers before bathroom threshold, step into the bathroom, slip into the special footwear, wash hands, remove those special bathroom slippers, and switch for indoor slippers when re-entering the living area. Earlier, probably in jest, Oba-san warned me that if I step onto the living area in the toilet slippers, he will tell me about hara-kiri rules.
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
For 1 month spring has been reining our planet, now just watch warm coats to change for thin jackets, cold and mediocrity for the bright sun. And, of course, what sort of spring it could be without green trees and beautiful flowers? Well, in order to make your expectation of long-awaited colours and flavours less agonizing...
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in OUTLOOK.
Everyone knows that being in Scotland you should try whiskey, in France you should taste wine, and in Japan t is all about sake. But few people think about national soft drinks. They were created by peoples with far more practical intentions - refreshing and burning, repelling from the climate features, possessing nourishing properties.
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire. There is a great amount of them in the world, they are striking by their beauty and inimitable. Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The architecture of temples has interesting and sometimes controversial history. Quite often the novelties and fundamentals of movements in architecture started with the building of temples with sophisticated design. The Polish Roman Catholic churches are rather bright in their beauty.
In this day and age, it is difficult to surprise anyone, especially an urban resident, with some large department store or market, since nowadays one can buy everything from a humble convenience store next door. However, the iconic bazaars and flea markets are still operating across the globe, they are famous in legends and described with delight.
The well-known saying goes: east is a delicate matter. All-in-all, it is true as evidenced even by details. Due to specific climate, eastern women have similar type of appearance, and their nations are united by close cultures. Therefore, they prefer the same beauty standards. Women are supposed to be modest, to dress so as to completely or almost completely conceal figure.
When the first emigrants from Africa came to Brazil, they brought rousing actions in the country that had been living upon the principle ‘Life is a carnival’. As the citizens of Africa explained, dance maculele appeared in the environment where slaves had to protect themselves from the encroachment of their owners.
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Not every tourist will come to Japan. But Marina Belka, a fashion designer, did it, because the mysterious Land of the Rising Sun was her childhood dream. She shared with us her impressions of Tokyo and gave practical advice to future tourists.
Few of us, while our favourite tea is steeping, are scrutinizing about the way this drink went through to get into our mug. Of course, stereotypically, we know that most likely it came from India or China, but in fact origin can vary. In the world there are about 30 countries which are very seriously engaged in tea business, and within this community a very clear hierarchy emerges, headed by the so-called Big Tea Seven.