After the first immigrants arrived as coffee plantation workers over a century ago, Brazil now has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Certain areas of Sao Paulo seem like they could be in Tokyo, with signs in Japanese, Shinto shrines along the streets and many restaurants and markets catering to Japanese taste buds. The 1.5 million or so Japanese Brazilians are increasingly assimilating into mainstream Brazilian culture, with greater numbers marrying non-Japanese people, speaking Portuguese at home and joining the Catholic church.
A couple decades ago, many Brazilians, mostly of Japanese descent, moved to Japan due to its favorable economic conditions and immigration policy. Some arrived speaking only Portuguese while others discovered that they had been influenced by Brazil more than they had realized. Japanese people often assume that these immigrants, because of their physical appearance, know how to speak Japanese and will behave according to Japan’s mainstream culture. In these circumstances, interactions can quickly become frustrating. The difficulty of adapting to life in Japan has led some of these immigrants to return to Brazil.
The Japanese are the second largest unreached people group in the world. Brazil has one of the largest number of missionaries. It is not by accident that these two countries are so strongly connected.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1a): Father, help Japanese Brazilians in Brazil and in Japan know Your love. Let them find the rest and assurance of being Your children.
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:23): Lord of the harvest, prepare the hearts of Japanese people in Brazil and in Japan to hear Your Word and understand it. Let the word of Your kingdom spread quickly and bear much fruit.
Ask God how else to pray.
An example of Japanese Brazilian cuisine is sushi rice with Brazilian grilled meat. Find examples of fusion cuisine near you and learn more about the cultural traditions involved.