I visited Oizumi, Gumma Prefecture. Large factories and plants were invited to set up in this town, and mainly Japanese Brazilians were attracted there as factory workers. According to statistics, almost 6,000 people out of this town’s population of about 41,000 are from abroad.
You can see Portuguese on the streets, on signboards and in many places of this town so that the Brazilians can live comfortably. Some restaurants and food courts serve Brazilian foods. Some supermarkets offer commodities imported from Brazil. There are grocery stores, chemists, clothes stores, computer and electric stores, tattoo stores, travel agencies, community centres and churches where Portuguese is available. Free Portuguese newspapers, magazines and brochures were available at the Brazilian Plaza and many other places. If you are Japanese, you will feel as if you were going abroad and walking on the foreign country’s street even if you use no passports and fly with no airlines.
It is noteworthy that those stores are all operated by those Brazilians. Brazilians stand at the cash register, the food processing corner of the supermarket, and the restaurant hall to serve Brazilian guests. Everything can be done by Brazilians there.
Oizumi shows us an example of the mixture of multicultural societies. It will be inevitable that our country should accept immigrants in the near future whether we like it or not. This town will tell us how we should live together with immigrants.