Japanese suffering prejudice in Brazil

For many years Brazilians often say that Japanese people are prejudiced, I cannot understand where they manage to get so much generalization. Doesn't the opposite also happen? Don't Japanese suffer prejudice in Brazil?

To reflect a little on the subject of prejudice and racism, I conducted a survey regarding the immigration of the Japanese in Brazil and how much they ended up suffering in our country. Maybe that's why we found so many Japanese in Brazil with a frown.

I think we all know that even today Japanese suffer from tacky jokes, creating nicknames and other games related to Japanese ethnicity.

Despite being a very complex subject, in the last century, before and during the second world war and even towards the end of the century, the Japanese suffered situations far worse than simple dull jokes. Let's try to talk a little bit in summary about this subject.

Racism against the Japanese at the beginning of the century

The prejudice against receiving Asian immigrants was very strong. During the arrival of the Japanese in Brazil, at the beginning of the 20th century, they were stigmatized as Undesirable and belong to an inferior race. Brazilians said that they would harm the “whitening” that occurred in Brazil with the reception of European immigrants.

There was also the fear of the “yellow danger”, where they believed that the Japanese could spread and dominate Brazil culturally and ethnically.

World War II raised a number of issues, and the Japanese were treated as an enemy. In World War II, thousands of Japanese immigrants were expelled from Brazil. It is worth mentioning that in the United States, the prejudice against the Japanese at the time was much worse.


Violent movement against the Japanese

Little is said, but in 1945 there was a massive violent movement against Japanese people in Osvaldo Cruz. Several groups of Brazilians chased and hunted any and every Japanese, indiscriminately, through the streets of the city.

Some Brazilians shouted lynching orders and many practiced physical and moral aggression and humiliation. At that time there were many atrocities that led to fights, deaths and burning houses.

Around the region, groups of Brazilians invaded the homes of Japanese people and dragged their parents' fathers in front of their wives and children. Brazilians ransacked Japanese homes.

Some Japanese were forcibly tied to the horse's chin and led them through the streets brutally dragged. The elderly were beaten to stones and beaten.

Even the access roads to the city from the countryside were blocked by Brazilians in order to prevent children of Japanese descent from accessing schools.

The Japanese did not react, they endured humiliation, and they were hurt more in their feeling as people and in their character, than physically. 

Some Brazilians at the time defended themselves by saying that these acts were just a justifiable response from Brazilians against Japanese provocations and crimes.

At the time, there was an open and open prejudice against Japanese people, which also extended to immigrants who were not white and Catholic, such as Poles, Russians and Germans.


Events that affected Japanese people in Brazil

Below we will mention some highlights and events that occurred in the last century or still occur:

  • Many Japanese have lost their property and it has never been returned or compensated;
  • Some Japanese were forced to leave the city and live isolated in rural areas;
  • The presence of decent Japanese in the media (TV) was very rare or marked by stereotypes;
  • Even those who are learning Japanese or get involved in Japanese culture end up suffering racist jokes;
  • Some Japanese people were called "fifth column" which at the time was a way of demeaning, saying that they were inferior;
  • During the government of Jânio Quadros, Japanese people were forbidden to speak Japanese, and the only Japanese radio was removed from the air. More than 200 Japanese schools have been closed;

Some things that led Brazilians to be prejudiced against Japanese:

  • People get carried away by movements, nobody wants to have their own opinion;
  • Physical appearance and personality aspects;
  • World War II events;
  • Japan allied with Nazi Germany in World War II;
  • Feelings of superiority;
  • Brazilians are influenced by the culture of the USA, one of the most racist countries in the world;
  • The Japanese did not usually mix with the Brazilians;
  • Religious and cultural differences;
  • Lack of intelligence and reasoning, defining people by race;

Japanese suffer prejudice in Brazil?

Unfortunately, this is the reality we live in Brazil. Although the world has evolved against racism, there are still several problems related to prejudice, xenophobia and social classes.

It's not just people from different countries or different colors, chubby, toothy, nerdy and anything different in Brazil is a laughing stock for some. and then Brazilians call Japanese racists.


The problem is that when it comes to Orientals, people take these offenses as a joke or something normal. If we talk or play with an Afro-descendant, Northeast or European, the guys are capable of even hitting us.

Unfortunately there is something very wrong with our nation! Even the media ends up making such jokes. This shows that today the majority stopped using racist words against blacks not because they learned to respect them as a person, but simply because they do not want to be classified as racist.

I hope the text will help you to reflect and understand that racism exists everywhere, so it should not be generalized. Calling the Japanese prejudiced makes you a prejudiced person who does not know how to differentiate the small portion of 1% from the population that is afraid or xenophobic from the rest of the population that does not care about our existence.

Prejudice and racism still exist, they are made up in the form of joy and relaxation. Playing with people is normal, as long as they do not ridicule, disparage or dishonor them.

Unfortunately, this is what has happened with the majority of Japanese or descendants living in Brazil. Only those who have been through this are able to understand, it ends up being an endless battle. We don't want to put Brazilians as racists, for me there are 2 types of people, normal and racist.

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