Fellow's Seminar: Dr. Rafael Shoji

Invitation to the Fellow’s Seminar Fiscal 2008-2009 (on April 18, 2008)


The Japan Foundation
Asia and Oceania Division

The Japan Foundation would like to welcome you to join us for the session of the Fellows' Seminar for Fiscal 2008-2009. The presenter is Dr. Rafael Shoji whose field of research is religions among Japanese Brazilians. Details of the session are as follows:

Presentation Theme: " Brazilian Pentecostalism or Japanese Ancestors: The Transformation of Japanese Brazilian Religiosity in Japan "

After the contextualization of dekasegi movement inside the immigration flows between Japan and Brazil, the presentation will initially show data indicating the growth of the Pentecostal movement among Brazilians and the increasing participation in Japanese new religions by Nikkei, filling the void left by the relatively low penetration of Catholic Church.

The presentation will then propose an analysis of the religious behavior of Brazilians in Japan following an analytical perspective oriented by rational choice theory and social networks. Since Catholicism has difficulties to present itself as a Brazilian place, Pentecostal groups are efficiently spread through social networks, with the churches optimized for the existing demand and the dekasegi themselves as pastors. In fact, Pentecostalism has played a social role that has not been offered in Japan, using networks of assistance and proposing evangelical conversion as a way of dealing with the situations of crisis that the Brazilian immigrant suffers in Japan. On the other side, while Christianity attracts especially Brazilians with little identification with Japan, many Nikkei searching for integration in Japan are attracted to New Japanese Religions and the reinterpretation of their connections with their Japanese ancestors.

At end some issues regarding the future of religions among Brazilian in Japan will be considered, with the sharp decline of Catholicism and the rise of the new generation.

Presenter: Dr Rafael Shoji holds a PhD by the Leibniz University of Hannover (Germany) and has published extensively on Japanese religions in Brazil and Japanese Brazilian culture. As a Japanese Studies fellow of the Japan Foundation, Dr Shoji is currently engaged in research on the religions among Brazilian in Japan, especially the reinterpretation of Christianity, under Prof. James Heisig of the NanzanUniversity, a specialist of Japanese philosophy and religion.
Date: Friday, April 18, 2008
Time: 15:00-17:00
Location: JFIC-Commons at the Japan Foundation Head Office,
Ark Mori Bldg. West Wing 20F Access
*Please enter the building from the first floor. Your ID (National Health Insurance Card, Driver's License, Passport, Alien Registration Card or any other ID) will be required at the entrance.
Language: English (Simultaneous Interpretation)
Admission Fee: Free
Contact: If you would like to attend the seminar, please notify Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange Dept. by April 17, 2008 with your name, affiliation, and contact information (tel., fax or e-mail). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Tel: 03-5369-6069/ Fax: 03-5369-6041 E-mail

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