Japanese in Mexico

Photo Source:  N-Y-C - Pixabay 
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People Name: Japanese
Country: Mexico
10/40 Window: No
Population: 5,500
World Population: 119,242,000
Primary Language: Japanese
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Japanese
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Japanese first emigrated to Mexico in the late 1800s to work coffee plantations in Chiapas state. Immigration to Mexico almost stopped in World War II. After the War the Japanese began coming to Mexico again mainly because of companies in Japan having economic investments in Mexico and sending skilled workers. The main immigration to Mexico was from 1900 to the beginning of World War II. Many were skilled laborers. During the War many were moved from the coasts and from the Mexico-US border to Mexico City and other interior cities to prevent any possibility of them becoming a military force for the Japanese Empire. Many Japanese stayed in Mexico after the war rather than returned to their devastated island nation. More Japanese began emigrating to Mexico after the war. From about 1950 to 1978, this was mainly because of Japanese businesses coming to Mexico for cheap labor. Japanese immigration is particularly strong in Baja California. Since 1978, many young artists have come from Japan to Mexico and mainly live in Mexico City. They found it easier for their careers to progress in Mexico than in Japan. More people go to museums in Mexico than in Japan. The Japanese in Mexico live mainly in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Chiapas, Baja California and Puebla. They speak Japanese and Mexican Spanish.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There is a Japanese school in Mexico City called the Liceo Mexicano Japon├ęs. Japanese people from all over the country send their children to this school. In Mexico you can find examples of Japanese culture in the highly refined flower arrangements, calligraphy, puppetry, and theater. Some of Japan's painters have made Mexico City their home since the art world is hard to break into in Tokyo. Traditional and Western forms of recreation include baseball, sumo wrestling, judo, karate, table tennis, fishing, volleyball, shogi (Japanese chess) and go (a complicated game of strategy). Gardening is a popular hobby for both men and women. The auto industry has attracted Japanese businessmen to Mexico. There are many Japanese-based international corporations represented in Mexico.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Shintoism is the native religion of Japan. It is rooted in animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Its many gods or spirits are known as kami. Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. Today, most Japanese claim to be both Shintoist and Buddhist. Traditions of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have all contributed to Japanese religious principles: ancestor worship; a belief in religious continuity of the family; a close tie between the nation and religion; a free exchange of ideas among religious systems; and religious practices centered on the use of prayer meditation, amulets, and purification.

What Are Their Needs?

Many Japanese are indifferent to and skeptical of established religion. On the outside, they seem to have few needs. However, many have become obsessed with materialistic pleasures, careers, and possessions. Their greatest need is to be introduced to the one who offers life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray that Christian businessmen will have open doors to share the gospel with the Japanese. Pray that Japanese believers will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with their families and friends. Ask the Lord to raise up Japanese disciples in Mexico who will make other disciples who will make even more disciples. Pray for a spiritual hunger that will be satisfied only by Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project