Elderly Japanese Immigrants in Brazil Ablaze with Frontier Spirit

Society

Sao Paulo, May 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese immigrant Takeo Kimura wanted to return the favor of Brazil when he and his wife resettled in the country's poor northeastern region three years ago.

It was frontier spirit that drove them to make the unusual decision for their ages. Kimura and his wife, Nobue, were both in their late 80s when they moved to a backcountry area of Tabuleiro do Norte in the state of Ceara, 10 hours away from Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city, by plane and bus

Takeo, now 89, came from the western Japan prefecture of Okayama, while Nobue, 90, was from a remote island of Tokyo. The couple settled in Brazil in 1956 and lived in the state of Sao Paulo until their move.

"Compared with when we arrived in Brazil, there are no problems at all," Takeo said. "As long as we can get water, we can do anything here. This is heaven."

In Tabuleiro do Norte, the couple developed a fig orchard from farmland that was almost returning to the wild. Takeo takes care of fig trees every morning and late afternoon, avoiding the midday sun, which takes temperatures to 40 degrees Celsius.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press