Japanese Immigrants in Brazil and Brazilian Dekasseguis in Japan

Pauline Cherrier, “Japanese Immigrants in Brazil and Brazilian Dekasseguis in Japan: Continuity of the Migration’s Imaginary vs. Reality,” Sociedade Japonesa e Migrantes Brasileiros: Novos Caminhos na Formação de uma Rede de Pesquisadores, MITA (Chiyoko), QUERO (Hugo Córdova), LITVIN (Aaron), HAINO (Sumiko) (eds.), Tokyo: Center for Lusophone Studies / Sophia University, 2008, pp.37-43.

The research I am currently conducting deals with the representation of Brazilians in both the Brazilian ethnic media and Japanese media in order to study how they are emerging in the Japanese public space. I would like to focus in this presentation on one of the aspects I have grown to notice in my research, namely the recurrent association made between Japanese immigrants in Brazil and Brazilian migrants working in Japan. While the two groups are ethnically bound to one another, considering that most of the Brazilians workers in Japan are of Japanese descent, a discourse on the similarity of their experience may bear deceiving effects. Images, symbols, and rhetoric of success are explicitly used in the media, therefore creating a sense of common fate between the two groups of migrants: in effect, they are depicted as going through the same experience, only at different periods in time. The commemoration of the “year of the Japanese Brazilian exchange” also plays an important part in the symbolic association of the two groups of migrants. I would like to show how this production of a common imaginary in the media tends to wipe out the differences of the socio-political and economical context, proper to of each migratory movement.

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