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Thread: Dominicans in Japan

  1. #1
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    Default Dominicans in Japan

    I've been in Japan and there is a small Dominican community there, mostly made up of Nikkeis( descendants of Japanese immigrants that went to D.R in the 1950's) also some " netos" (the average Dominican of colonial descent, ex: Mulattoes, Blacks) that are married to the Nikkeis and went there with them. Also the ones at the different U.S military bases and the smallest are just plain civilians.

    When Leonel Fernandez went there in the late 90's(don't rememebr the year), it was the first time that a Dominican president ever visited Japan,and he got very surprised with the huge welcome that he received. The Dominican Nikkeis were very happy, they always have D.R in their hearts,and talk that famous Dominican spanish " cual e la vaina loco ! no me salte con ese tigueraje !!" jajaja.

    Even thou they have Japanese blood, the natives of Japan consider them " gaijin" or " outsiders". The netos are even more " foreign" because they don't even look Japanese, so the neto is the one usually getting called " gaijin". The Nikkeis don't have any Japanese culture, their culture is Dominican. They have Spanish first names, cook Dominican food and are Catholics or other form of Christianity. Unlike Europe, Japan is still very close to foreigners, so there is lots of discrimination against foreigners, specially those from Third World countries, but things are getting better in the past 10
    years, because there are more foreigners than ever.

    The majority of Latinos in Japan are Brazilians, followed by Peruvians, who are the largest Spanish-speaking block in Japan. Thus the Spanish language newspapers overthere are heavy with Peruvian news and topics. Peru is the dominant Hispanic culture there,so everybody almost everything you find there is " Peruvian oriented". Nevertheless, Latinos-Nikkeis and netos of all differet nationalities get together with each other and live peacefully, helping each others out.

    There are a few " neto" Dominicans that have been successful there. I've heard that the owner of the famous " salsa caribe club" in Tokyo is Dominican. There is one that has a club in Fukuoka, I don't remember the name. But Latin clubs have been popping out everywhere overthere,and some are Dominican -owned. In Tokyo area alone there are about 15 Latin Clubs. merengue and bachata are huge in Japan ! D.R is alot well known now because of the prominence of Dominican baseball players in the U.S and Japan. Japan is the second largest baseball market in the world after the U.S, so there are alot of Dominican baseball players making lots of money there. It is like a stepping stope to go to American MLB. I rememeber of Checo, who was a pitcher for the Hiroshima Carps,now he plays in the U.S I think.

    There are some musical bands there playing for bars and clubs, one is Jose Duluc, he went to Osaka like in '99 and 2000, and stayed there ever since. He was one of the ones that made that famous Barcelo commercial back in the 80's with " chivo de la loma, quien ha vito un chivo haciendo maroma". He also was involved in producing the " Dominican root music cd" with palos, salve, congos, etc. Getting involved in rescuing deep-rooted afro-dominican music almost getting lost in the countryside and everywhere. I think he is one of the few if not the only one spreading Dominican music knowledge to the Japanese. There are also some salsa, merengue and bachata dance teachers around.

    ok, sayounara

  2. #2
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    Default Very interesting note, thank you

    I knew there were some baseball players and a few buyers for used tires and auto parts going to Japan frequently but I had no idea that so many nisai had returned. I had heard some sad tails of some of my friends and their return to Japan. Tamioshi Sakamoto was my first Judo teacher and later became very famous as a Karate sensei. When he and his kids returned they were treated like rank outsiders, and quickly returned to the DR.

    Very informative post, so thank you.


    HB who wishes to return to Japan some day..

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    Thumbs up

    When i was stationed in okinawa, japan, there was a lot of peruvian and we will go to their market place and buy yucca and platanos, all the time.

  4. #4
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    Question here a Q...

    ok I have a question like always . now in the present day is the japanese youth more close to foreigners = Dominicans that may live there or are they more open to it ?

    just curiosity....*_T T_T!

  5. #5
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    Default What an interesting post ogro.

    So there's where Jose Duluc is! Darn I thought he had been kidnapped by aliens. I have been to his concerts.

    I had a Japanese-Dominican classmate from the Constanza colony when I was studying in the university. He went on to pursue his Master's in Japan (sponsored by the Japanese government). I think I heard he left Japan after that. To me he was a Dominican that looked Japanese.

  6. #6
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    my brother and i have always had a great facination with japan and are now planning a trip to japan.....only neither of us speak any japanese and have no idea how we're going to get through japan, but we really want to go.
    the fact that there are dominicans in japan is very conforting, if anyone would like to help my brother and i in our plans, please feel free to email me.
    serrot@gmail.com

    --carolina

  7. #7
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    Went to Japan as a tourist about three years ago for 12 days. Was with my husband and while we took organized tours, we also toured Kyoto on our own. We once got lost in a nice neighborhood near the Botanical Gardens and wandered and wandered around looking for where to catch the train. Interestingly very few people knew English. We finally made our way to a Police station where by sign language we were directed and among about five different agents they helped guide us back to where we could find our bearings and the train stop.

    The train stop was even worse as everything was in Japanese. But the people of Japan are so kind and nice that it all was just a fun adventure.

    My husband had a businessman who showed an interest in what he manufactures and took him to about five supermarkets, from small to big, for he could get an idea of what is sold in Japan in his field. Impressive how small the shopping carts are. Even the big supermarkets have smaller carts than the smallest ones that are available here.

    And it is always impressive to have someone give you a gift of a package of tomatoes, or strawberries. To see grapefruit half served as an exquisite desert in a fine restaurant, or a melon to be the equivalent of fine champagne as a gift.

    Also note that credit cards are not readily accepted, and the Yen and cash is king. You may have trouble finding places to exchange your dollar.

    I would dare rent a car and tour Japan -- but I would take a good map with me and names of where I was headed.

    It is one of the places I hope to go back to, but this time I would like to have a Japanese contact that can introduce me to family life.

    Probably you could mingle with the Japanese of the Japanese Embassy here to make the acquaintance of one who could introduce you to real Japanese life.

    Also, the Japanese Embassy has many cultural programs that every year send Dominicans to different immersion programs in Japan. Check into these.

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    Default Orquesta de la Luz?

    Maybe I'm slightly off topic here, but reading the thread I suddenly recall a popular Japanese salsa band named Orquesta de la Luz, who would tour extensively outside of Japan, back in the eighties or nineties. Their songs were in Spanish and all, although I believe they were all ethnic Japanese. Whatever happened to them? Are they still "big in Japan?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulino
    Maybe I'm slightly off topic here, but reading the thread I suddenly recall a popular Japanese salsa band named Orquesta de la Luz, who would tour extensively outside of Japan, back in the eighties or nineties. Their songs were in Spanish and all, although I believe they were all ethnic Japanese. Whatever happened to them? Are they still "big in Japan?"
    Yes, they are still active in Japan and play at some of the local Tokyo Salsa nightclubs. It's amazing that they don't even speak Spanish.

  10. #10
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    Default Interesting!

    Almost as interesting as the 877 Dominicans living in Alaska!

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