Religion og etnisitet blant japansk-brasilianere. En studie i Tomé-Açu
This is a study of the diversity of religions found among Japanese-Brazilians living in the city of Quatro Bocas, in the municipality of Tomé-Açu, in the State of Pará, in the north of Brazil. It examines relations between religions and ethnicities. I conducted fieldwork, first in Quatro Bocas between September and October 2017, and then in the city of São Paulo in December 2018. I interviewed fourteen persons and visited different religious organizations, cultural associations and museums. Considering religions and ethnicities as social phenomena shaped by social processes, which are always context dependent, I argue that the Japanese-Brazilians are a complex and multifaceted group, to whom it is not possible to ascribe religious affiliation solely based on ethnicity. During my fieldwork, and afterwards, I have been in contact with Japanese-Brazilians who have identified themselves as Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, non-practicing Catholic, non-religious and Protestant. I argue that religions give Japanese-Brazilians an opportunity to express their attachment to both Japanese culture and Brazilian culture. The Buddhist temple, and the Buddhist ritual Bon-Odori, can be considered as a place and an event where the Japanese-Brazilian community gathers, and Japanese cultural expressions are highlighted; a place and an event that for people outside the Japanese-Brazilian community can be experienced as a communication of cultural differences, and a dichotomization of “us” and “them”. In contrast, belonging to the Catholic Church can be a way for Japanese-Brazilians to express their attachment to the Brazilian culture. The Roman Catholic Church being the dominant religion in Brazil over the last five centuries and understood as a structuring element of Brazilian culture. The Protestant churches, depending on which one, give Japanese-Brazilians an opportunity to express their attachment to either Japanese culture or Brazilian culture. Keywords: Japanese-Brazilians; ethnicities; religions; fieldwork; Quatro Bocas; Brazil.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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