You might be surprised to learn that Peru has the second largest number of Japanese people in South America after Brazil. In most cities of Peru, you will find Japanese restaurants and bars. In fact, Fujimori, was a Japanese Peruvian as well. There is an interesting story behind why the Japanese people chose Peru as the destination for migrating.
In the late 1800s, Japan was a poor country and the working class did not have a lot of jobs. They were desperate to eke out a living and were constantly on the lookout for better opportunities. Eventually, they started to look for destinations that seemed attractive to them. Many countries would not allow Japanese people to immigrate because there was a lot of white supremacy at that time.
Peru seemed like the ideal choice
Peru seemed like a good choice to a lots of Japanese people, because of rumors started to go around. People started to talk about how Peru has a mild climate, does not have epidemics and has a rich soil for farming.
In addition, Japanese people also started to spread information that Peruvian dietary customers are quite similar to the Japanese ones. Thus, in 1898, 790 Japanese men left Japan to work in the plantations of Peru. Initially they worked really hard and finally saved up enough to start small businesses. Dear stories of success attracted multiple Japanese families and workers who all stayed back in Peru permanently.
Everything was not smooth for the Japanese immigrants
Unfortunately, Japanese people faced a lot of discrimination due to their culture, language and also race. They contacted serious tropical diseases and many of them died of disease. All these problems did not deter Japanese immigrants. They continued to work hard and became part of the complex Peruvian society. Today, they are an inextricable part of the Peruvian society, and they continue to contribute much to the society, economy and culture of Peru. When you are in Peru, don’t forget to discover Japanese Peruvian cuisine!