- Title: BRAZIL: Brazil's Japanese community gathers to celebrates its roots in Sao Paulo
- Date: 17th July 2011
- Summary: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (JULY 16, 2011) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF ENTRANCE OF JAPANESE FESTIVAL CLOSE OF BANNER OF JAPANESE FESTIVAL VARIOUS OF GENERAL VIEWS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN FESTIVAL VENUE GENERAL VIEW OF ORIGAMI WORKSHOP CLOSE OF BOY MAKING ORIGAMI VARIOUS OF WORKSHOP OF JAPANESE PAINTING VARIOUS OF KARATE SHOW AUDIENCE APPLAUDING GENERAL VIEW OF FOOD COURT CLOSE OF FOOD STAND THAT SELLS TEMPURA MAN PREPARING TEMPURA CLOSE OF TEMPURA BEING FRIED VARIOUS OF MAN EATING FESTIVAL ORGANIZER, AKINORI SONODA, TALKING TO PEOPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) FESTIVAL ORGANIZER, AKINORI SONODA, SAYING: "Brazilians have a very mixed blood, but are very good people with a very kind heart. Japan is also mixed with Brazil and we are here doing this deep cultural exchange and growing together."
- Embargoed: 1st August 2011 13:00
- Location: Brazil, Brazil
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Arts,People,Population
- Reuters ID: LVAD91C1TPOP7FX1U5OVA4KUUMRY
- Story Text: Brazil's massive Japanese community gathered on Saturday (July 16) to celebrate its cultural traditions and show solidarity to the country that is recovering from the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The 14th edition of the Japanese Festival officially kicked off in the business capital Sao Paulo with a traditional sake barrel-breaking ceremony to bring luck.
Food carts filled with sushi and women donning geisha costumes were everywhere to be seen in the event that is considered the largest of its kind in Latin America.
Thousands of Japanese immigrants and descendants enjoyed to walk around a slice of Tokyo in Brazil, the largest Japanese population outside the island-country.
Festival organizer Akinori Sonoda said the event was fruitful for both countries.
"Brazilians have a very mixed blood, but are very good people with a very kind heart. Japan is also mixed with Brazil and we are here doing this deep cultural exchange and growing together," he said.
Workshops of origami and a traditional wash painting called sumi-e entertained children and adults in the intervals of shows of music, dance and martial arts.
The event also gave people a chance to take a closer look at reconstruction efforts after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing and triggered a nuclear crisis.
Exhibition organizer Massao Suzuki said the photographs on display were also a way to thank Brazil for the post-quake aid.
"The idea of doing a photography exhibition came up a week after the earthquake. At the time, the Japanese community in Brazil had already began an aid campaign that lasted for three months and raised a lot of money -- it was considered to be the world's largest campaign outside Japan. The goal of this exhibition is to show the details, the daily life of the Japanese people after the tragedy and it's also a way of thanking the Brazilian people for the solidarity after the tragedy, for all the effort of the Japanese community in Brazil," he said.
Japanese descendant Luiz Fukamishi said the event would likely draw other immigrants from Asian countries.
"(The festival) shows the integration of the Brazilian people with the oriental people because I believe that there are also Chinese, Koreans and others here, which is very good. Immigrants get together through this festivals and celebrations," he said.
Brazil is home to over 1.5 million Japanese descendants.
Organizers expect around 190,000 people to visit the event until it closes on Sunday (July 17).
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