Hiroko Celina Tsutsumi
Capao Bonito, Sau Paulo, Brazil
2016 Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee
Hello everyone! Long time no see!
My name is Hiroko Celina Tsutsumi and I was a Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee in 2016. It feels like we’ve just stepped into 2018 but it’s actually already March! Time goes by so quickly!
Being on the other side of the earth, it’s summer here and we’re experiencing a long string of hot days. Unlike Japan, our summer break happens from December until the end of January, so I’ve been going to the beach with my family a lot lately. I even recently went to a resort called Maragogi and you can see a picture of the sea there below. Isn’t it pretty? ^^
This is a bit late but I want to tell you about the Anniversary Ceremony of the 55th Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil. I attended this celebration on November 12th last year which featured an anniversary ceremony, a peace Bon-odori, and other celebratory attractions.
It began with a greeting from Mr. Hiroshi Kawazoe, President of the Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil. We also received a video message from Governor Houdou Nakamura of Nagasaki Prefecture, and a recording of the peace proclamation by Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki City.
Politicians from Sao Paulo as well as other important people were invited. Even the Japanese Consul General from the Sao Paulo Consulate of Japan, Mr. Yasushi Noguchi, was in attendance.
The ceremony was begun in the morning, and for lunch we all had some delicious bentos. From the afternoon we enjoyed the Peace Bon dance and many other fun attractions. The Bon dance wooden stage (yagura) was set up, and the dragon from the Nagasaki Kunchi Dragon Dance was on display and attracted the attention of many fans.
The program included activities like picture story shows (kamishibai), exercise (taiso), games, sara-odori, and yosakoi, among other dances that the people of Nagasaki would be familiar with. But the most popular attraction was, without a doubt, the Dragon Dance! The entire event swelled with excitement when it was finally time. All the performers practiced very hard in preparation and enjoyed a gigantic round of applause from an appreciative crowd when they finished ^^
In Brazil, the popularity of the Bon dance is not limited to Japanese people and their relatives. This year I dressed up in a yukata and joined in ^^ There were many Bon dance first timers in our group, but Brazilians are positive people who love to dance, so people got used to it very quickly and everyone had a great time. People of all ages joined in and it made for a great atmosphere ^^
The theme of this year’s ceremony was “peace,” and so there were posters, DVDs, paper story shows, books, and magazines that have to do with peace and the tragedy of war all on display. We, the members of a kenjinkai of a prefecture that has been attacked with an atomic bomb, want as many people as possible to remember the history of Nagasaki and live in peace.
Thanks to all the work of the Kenjinkai, the ladies section, and the youth section, this year’s celebration is truly one to remember. I will continue to do my best for Nagasaki, and the Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil.
Also, this year marks the 110th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, so there will also be a ceremony for that. I’ll write a report on that too, so get excited!
Obrigada! ^^ (Thank you!)
Hiroko Celina Tsutsumi
Capão Bonito, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2016 Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee
Lived in Nagasaki from August 2016 to March 2017
Hello everyone! My name is Hiroko Selena Tsutsumi.
After being recommended by the Nagasaki Kenjinkai (association of people from Nagasaki) in Brazil, I recevied the opportunity to come to Nagasaki as an Overseas Technical Trainee from August last year until March this year. It was a wonderful six months that I worked at Kenyusha learning many different things and meeting many different people. I’ve been back in Brazil for nearly three months now. The time goes by so fast!
Have you ever heard of Capão Bonito? It’s my hometown. It’s a small town in the countryside of Sudoeste in the state of Sao Paulo. It’s about 230km away from Sao Paulo city and its main industries are agriculture, stock-farming, lumber production, and granite mining.
Here is Capão Bonito
A farm in Capão Bonito
The granite mined here is called Capão Bonito Granite and it’s exported overseas. It’s often used in construction and it’s a beautiful reddish-brown color!
We don’t have many big buildings way out here, but we are surrounded by a lot of beautiful nature. In Capão Bonito you can find caves, waterfalls, and rivers to enjoy.
At the center of town there is a Catholic church. It’s said that many towns in Brazil were built around churches then expanded outward. Most of the area’s companies, shops, and banks were founded around this church.
A Catholic Church
A couple of our most popular foods are Bolinho de frango and Rojão.
“Bolinho” in Bolinho de frango means “small ball”, and “frango” means “chicken meat”. In this dish, thinly-sliced chicken is rolled into balls with chicken dashi and cornflour, then deep fried.
Rojão is seasoned ground pork rolled around a stick then cooked over coals. It’s seasoned in a different way than is customary in Japan, but I definitely recommend it if you enjoy yakiniku.
Bolinho de frango
Ground pork rolled onto a stick to make a Rojão
There are around 1,500,000 people of Japanese descent living in Brazil which is the most of any country in the world! It’s for that reason that all through Brazil, but especially in Sao Paulo, that there are many activities to promote Japanese culture to hand it down to the next generation. The Capão Bonito Cultural and Physical Education Association began their operations 65 years ago. They do activities like Sumo, Karaoke, Taiko Drumming, Japanese-style Calisthenics, and Japanese Language education, as well as have events for New Years, Performancem Arts Festivals, Sports Days, meetings to show respect for the aged, and the Bon Festival Dance.
The sumo club was established 53 years ago. Every year there are tournaments for Sudoeste, the state of Sao Paulo, All Brazil, All South America, and of course the world! The club now has many members, and not everyone is of Japanese descent.
Sudoeste Sumo team at the Sao Paulo State Tournament
In 2002, Genryu Daiko became the official taiko team of Capão Bonito. At first they could barely hold the instruments correctly, much less give a performance, but they persevered these 15 years. This April they went to Kobe for the 19th Japanese Taiko Junior Contest and came in 5th place! Congratulations to them for their wonderful showing at the contest!
19th Japanese Taiko Junior Contest
（Brazil Taiko Association Facebook Page：https://www.facebook.com/taikobrasil/photos/pcb.1335711386518655/1335709166518877/?type=3&theater）
Many Brazilians are interested in Japanese culture and see it as a model for how to be disciplined, industrious, and sincere. Since childhood I have been directly involved with Japanese society and have learned many things about Japan and Japanese culture. I am very proud of all that I have learned through the events that I take part in every year, the Karaoke Festivals, the Taiko Competitions, and Japanese language education.
I’m going to continue to challenge myself to do many different things and be a bridge between Japan and Brazil! I’ll be sure to report about interesting events the next chance I get!