Japanese Peruvian

Japanese Peruvian
Japanese Peruvians
Alberto FujimoriKeiko FujimoriSantiago FujimoriCarlos Yushimito
Notable Japanese Peruvians
Alberto Fujimori - Keiko Fujimori - Santiago Fujimori - Carlos Yushimito
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Lima, La Libertad Department, Lambayeque Department

Spanish and Japanese


Roman Catholic, Shinto, Buddhism,[2] Protestantism

Related ethnic groups

Chinese Peruvian, Japanese Brazilian, Asian Latinos

Japanese Peruvians (Spanish: Peruano-Japonés or Nipo-peruano, Japanese: 日系ペルー人, Nikkei Perūjin) are people of Japanese ancestry who were born in or immigrated to Peru. The immigrants from Japan are called the Issei generation. Second and third generation Peruvians are referred to as nisei and sansei in Japanese. The Yonsei are the fourth generation after the issei.

Japanese Peruvians comprise the second largest ethnic Japanese population in Latin America after Brazil (1.5 million). This ethnic group composes today approximately 0.3% of the total population of Peru.[3]



Peru was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Japan,[4] beginning in June 1873.[1]

Peru was also the first Latin American country to accept Japanese immigration.[4] The Sakura Maru carried Japanese families from Yokohama to Peru, arriving on April 3, 1899 at the Peruvian port city of Callao.[5] This group of 790 Japanese became the first of several waves of emigrants who made new lives for themselves in Peru, some nine years before emigration to Brazil began.[1]

Japanese immigrants arrived from Okinawa; but also from Gifu, Hiroshima, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures. Many arrived as farmers or to work in the fields, but after their respective contracts were completed, settled in the cities.[6] In the period before World War II, the Japanese community in Peru was largely run by Issei immigrants born in Japan. "Those of the second generation", (the Nisei), "were almost inevitably excluded from community decision-making."[7]

World War II

After the start of World War II, the United States State Department reached an agreement with the government of Peru; and Japanese Peruvians were rounded up and transported to American internment camps run by the U.S. Justice Department.[8]

The Peruvians were initially placed in amongst the Japanese-Americans who had been excluded from the US west coast; but later they were interned in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facilities in Crystal City, Texas; Kenedy, Texas; and Santa Fe, New Mexico[9] The Japanese-Peruvians were kept in these "alien detention camps" for more than two years before, through the efforts of civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins,[10][11] being offered "parole" relocation to the labor-starved farming community in Seabrook, New Jersey.[12]

The interned Japanese Peruvian Nisei in the United States were further separated from the Issei, in part because of distance between the internment camp locations, and in part because the interned Nisei knew almost nothing about their parents' homeland and language.[13]

The deportation of Japanese Peruvians to the United States involved expropriation of their property and other assets in Peru.[14] At war's end, only 79 Japanese Peruvian citizens returned to Peru, and 400 remained in the United States as "stateless" refugees.[15] The interned Peruvian Nisei who became naturalized American citizens would consider their children Sansei, meaning three generations away from the grandparents who had left Japan for Peru.[16]

Contemporary period

Today, the occupations of Japanese Peruvians vary because most of them are very well educated people, ranging from substantial ranks in finance and academia, to catering and hospitality. Japanese Peruvians have a considerable economic position in Peru.[3]

Dekasegi Japanese-Peruvians

In 2008, more than six thousand Peruvians live and work in Japan that includes 5,000 illegal non-Japanese-Peruvian with true documentations for overstay (immigrations police maybe only investigates this group), 41,000 registered Japanese-Peruvian (at least 15,000 illegal non-Japanese-Peruvian with false documentations and illegal Japanese nationalization and maximum 26,000 true Japanese-Peruvian with true documentation and legal Japanese nationalization).[1] Due to economic instability in the 1980s, many Japanese Peruvians left for Japan and the United States, although some have since returned.

Notable figures

  • Alberto Fujimori: Former President
  • Keiko Fujimori: Former First Lady, Congresswoman and businesswoman (daughter of Alberto Fujimori)
  • Santiago Fujimori: lawyer (younger brother of Alberto Fujimori)
  • Susana Higuchi: Former First Lady
  • Eduardo Tokeshi: artist
  • Tilsa Tsuchiya: artist
  • José Watanabe: poet
  • Jaime Yoshiyama: Former Minister, Former Vice President and President of the Congress
  • Jorge Hirano: international footballer
  • Ernesto Arakaki: international footballer
  • David Soria Yoshinari: international footballer
  • Cesar Ychikawa: Singer
  • Carlos Yushimito (Yoshimitsu): Writer
  • Enrique Sakamoto: Model, Actor, Singer
  • Augusto Higa: Writer
  • Carlos Runcie Tanaka: Artist
  • Akio Tamashiro: World Karate Champion 2006, Director of Sports of IPD (Instituto Peruano del Deporte.
  • Yoshirato Amano: Art Collector, Amano private Museum.
  • Yoshihiko Shinzato : 5th Dan Karate Master.
  • Koichi Kawauchi: Karate Sensei.
  • Luis Chiok : Karate Sensei.
  • Enrique Sadanori : Karate Sensei.
  • Juichi Kokubo : Karate Sensei.
  • YASUTAKA TANAKA : Karate Sensei.
  • Oshiro Masa: Karate Sensei.
  • Kenyi Kimura : Karate Sensei.
  • Jorge Chinen: Judo Sensei.
  • Aldo Miyashiro: TV celebrity.
  • Susy Sato: TV celebrity.
  • Lucy Watanabe: TV celebrity.
  • Mitsuharu Tsumura: Chef.
  • Toshiro Konishi: Chef.
  • Rosita Yimura: Cook.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan: Japan-Peru relations
  2. ^ Masterson, Daniel et al. (2004). The Japanese in Latin America: The Asian American Experience, p. 237. at Google Books
  3. ^ a b Lama, Abraham. "Home is Where the Heartbreak Is," Asia Times.October 16, 1999.
  4. ^ a b Palm, Hugo. "Desafíos que nos acercan," El Comercio (Lima, Peru). March 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "First Emigration Ship to Peru: Sakura Maru," Seascope (NYK newsletter). No. 157, July 2000.
  6. ^ Irie, Toraji. "History of the Japanese Migration to Peru," Hispanic American Historical Review. 31:3, 437-452 (August–November 1951); 31:4, 648-664 (no. 4).
  7. ^ Higashide, Seiichi. (2000). Adios to Tears, p. 218. at Google Books
  8. ^ Robinson, Greg. (2001). By Order of the President:FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans, p. 264. at Google Books
  9. ^ Higashide, pp. 157-158. at Google Books
  10. ^ "Japanese Latin Americans". http://www.densho.org/learning/spice/lesson4/4activity4-7handouts.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  11. ^ "Japanese Americans, the Civil Rights Movement and Beyond". http://www.nddcreative.com/sfjhw/sfjhw_pdf/sfjhw_sign2.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  12. ^ Higashide, p. 161. at Google Books
  13. ^ Higashide, p. 219. at Google Books
  14. ^ Barnhart, Edward N. "Japanese Internees from Peru," Pacific Historical Review. 31:2, 169-178 (May 1962).
  15. ^ Riley, Karen Lea. (2002). Schools Behind Barbed Wire: The Untold Story of Wartime Internment and the Children of Arrested Enemy Aliens, p. 10. at Google Books
  16. ^ Higashide, p. 222. at Google Books


External links

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