Nishizawa Yamaguchi Rosi Haruna
FY2019 Technical Intern Trainee
Length of stay in Nagasaki : 2019.8～2020.2
I was born in colonial Japan in San Juan, Bolivia. I’m third-generation Japanese South American.
My grandmother and her family immigrated to Bolivia from Nagasaki, Japan in 1958, 62 years ago.
I heard that it took several months to get there by ship.
The accommodation, 1995
We were divided into 53 groups, 1,685 people of them moved San Juan in order to be engaged in farming.
At that time, there was no road, only primeval forest in San Juan. They worked so hard all day long.
San Juan is rainforest climate, so there are many animals and botanicals.
Agriculture and poultry farming were main industry, also rice, soybeans, macadamia nuts and citrus fruits were cultivated.
Deforestation, 1957 Mountain burning, 1959
Brick houses in 60’s
Currently Japanese-South Americans residents are 235 families, about 760 people. Japanese and Spanish are spoken in “Japan Village”(Nihon Jin Mura).
They became well off now, live comfortable compared to 60 years ago.
Japanese culture and knowledge have been preserved in San Juan thanks to my grandmother and other people who immigrate from Japan.
I have four brothers and I’m an oldest daughter. I learned Japanese and Spanish until junior high school from kindergarten at The Unidad Education San Jahn School.
The Unidad Education San Jahn School
I’m worried that many people left Japan Village so that their children can’t speak Japanese gradually.
I studied medicine in Santa Cruz after I graduated Maria Auxilidora high school. Then I studied abroad in Argentine Republic specialize in cardiology.
I was looking forward to doing Bon dancing（Bon-odori） and having exhibition in annual San Juan festival since I was child.
Bon-Odori (Japanese traditional dance)
The exhibition in San Juan festival Sports Day
It’s very popular festival. We enjoyed music, Japanese foods and Japanese games. Also we have Sports Day every year. Unfortunately, all events were canceled because of the pandemic of Corona virus this year. I hope we can get back to our normal lives next year.
I had an opportunity to visit Japan as a trainee for six months last year.
I was worried that I might feel uncomfortable or had a hard time getting used to, but it tuned out to be totally fine. Almost everyone didn’t think I was foreigner.
Nagasaki people were really kind. It’s a very enriching experience. I am grateful to the first-generation of Japanese to immigrate to Bolivia who have been protected Japanese culture.
San Juan is small, but only my hometown. It’s special place for me.