Follow Us

Transnational Faiths: Latin-American Immigrants and their Religions in Japan

Transnational Faiths:
Latin-American Immigrants and their Religions in Japan Hugo Córdova Quero, Graduate Theological Union, USA and Rafael Shoji, Pontifical Catholic University, CERAL, Brazil Ashgate, 2014

Japan has witnessed the arrival of thousands of immigrants, since the 1990s, from Latin America, especially from Brazil and Peru. Along with immigrants from other parts of the world, they all express the new face of Japan – one of multiculturality and multi-ethnicity. Newcomers are having a strong impact in local faith communities and playing an unexpected role in the development of communities.

This book focuses on the role that faith and religious institutions play in the migrants’ process of settlement and integration. The authors also focus on the impact of immigrants’ religiosity amidst religious groups formerly established in Japan. Religion is an integral aspect of the displacement and settlement process of immigrants in an increasing multi-ethnic, multicultural and pluri-religious contemporary Japan.
Religious institutions and their social networks in Japan are becoming the first point of contact among immigrants. This book exposes and explores the often missed connection of the positive role of religion and faith-based communities in facilitating varied integrative ways of belonging for immigrants. The authors highlight the faith experiences of immigrants themselves by bringing their voices through case studies, interviews, and ethnographic research throughout the book to offer an important contribution to the exploration of multiculturalism in Japan.



Introduction: on transnational faiths and their faithfuls Hugo Córdova Quero and Rafael Shoji

The making of ‘Brazilian Japanese’ Pentecostalism: immigration as a main factor for religious conversion Rafael Shoji

‘Bestowing the light of the Gospel in Japan’: the formation of an ethnic church in the Dekassegui community Masanobu Yamada

The potentiality of Brazilian immigrants’ religious communities as social capital: the case of Christian churches in Toyohashi under an economic depression So Hoshino

Diversity and education: Brazilian children and religious practices in everyday life at Japanese public schools Nilta Dias

Citizenship of God: female sex workers and the Roman Catholic Church’s advocacy for human rights Marcela Inés Méndez Vázquez

Transnational believers: understanding the religious experiences of Peruvian immigrants in Japan Olmes Milani

The activities of Soka Gakkai and Sekai Kyūseikyō among Japanese Brazilians in Japan Regina Yoshie Matsue

Becoming Brazilian in Japan: umbanda and ethnocultural identity in transnational times Ushi Arakaki

Transcendental communications: the reinterpretation of the Brazilian Spiritist continuum in Japan, Rafael Shoji and Hugo Córdova Quero



About the Authors:

Dr Hugo Córdova Quero holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, with allied field at the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Berkeley. He received a Master in Divinity from ISEDET University in Buenos Aires (1998) and a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology and (Post)Colonial studies from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley (2003). He was Professor of Ecumenism at the Santa Maria de Guadalupe Roman Catholic Seminary in Buenos Aires (1998-2001) and visiting scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2006). He was visiting researcher at the Center for Lusophone Studies, Sophia University (Jesuit), in Tokyo, Japan (2006-2009). His areas of research include theology, ethnic studies, gender studies, critical theories (feminist, queer, and post-colonial), and cultural studies.

Dr Rafael Shoji holds a Ph.D. from the Leibniz University of Hanover
(Germany) and developed postdoctoral research in the Pontifical University of Sao Paulo and at Nanzan University. He is a co-founder and researcher of the Center for the Study of Oriental Religions (CERAL) at the Pontifical University of Sao Paulo. He has published on Japanese religions in Brazil, Japanese Brazilian culture and comparative studies on Buddhism and Christianity. As a Japanese Studies fellow of the Japan Foundation at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (Nagoya,
Japan) he was recently engaged in research on the religions among Brazilians in Japan, especially the reinterpretation of Christianity.