Old friends from the opposite side of the globe 旧友との再会


This three-day weekend should be quite an unstable one due to the big typhoon.



Last month, my old friend (who was the host-sister of the time I went abroad at teenager) came to visit Japan, and I met her and her husband.



It is actually more than twenty years since we last saw each other, and it was the magical hours as if we had been riding on the time machine!


They are from Brazil, in South America, which lies just the opposite side (the Southern hemisphere) of the globe from Japan.  Their main language is Portuguese, so I tried speaking in Portuguese too.

彼らは南米のブラジルから来日し、ブラジルというと日本のちょうど真反対の南半球に位置する国です。 公用語はポルトガル語で、とっても久しぶりに私もポルトガル語で会話しました。


After having nice dim sum in Chinatown, I guided them to the Yokohama Harbour and there was a huge cruise ship which had probably arrived from another country.


Then I remembered that in the past, a considerable number of people immigrated from ports in Japan all the way to South America.  These people were called Nikkei, and they lived not only in South America, but also in the USA such as California State.

そのとき、過去に多くの日本人が南米大陸へ渡っていった歴史を思い出しました。 これらの人々は日系人と呼ばれ、南米だけでなく、例えばアメリカのカリフォルニア州などにもたくさん移住したようです。


My host-sister told me that Japanese nikkei immigrants have made a great contribution to the Brazilian economy until today, and especially coffee plantations were the business many of them found and developed.  Perhaps so, good coffee can remind us of the connection between that distant continent and our country.

ホストシスターとそんな話をしながら、日系人のたゆまぬ努力というのが今日のブラジルに大きく貢献したことを改めて知りました。 特にコーヒー農園は、日本人が目を付けて発展させてきた事業らしいです。



*横浜のJICA(国際協力機構)には「海外移住資料館  Japanese Overseas Migration Museum」というのがあり、異国へ移住した日本人の歴史が詳しく観られます。 そこのcanteen 食堂では多国籍の料理が食べられ、ブラジルの美味しい豆料理なども作られてました。  If you have any chance, I think it would be a nice try.


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