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The Failed Prophecy of Shinto Nationalism and the Rise of Japanese Brazilian Catholicism

Rafael Shoji
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Vol. 35, No. 1 (2008), pp. 13-38
Published by: Nanzan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30234499
Page Count: 26
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The Failed Prophecy of Shinto Nationalism and the Rise of Japanese Brazilian Catholicism
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Abstract

This article deals with the main religious transition that accomplished the redefinition of Japanese Brazilian identity after the Second World War. State Shinto was the main world view of the Japanese immigrants in Brazil until the 1950s, playing a key role in the Japanese resistance of Brazilian acculturation process and in the cognitive dissonance that resulted in the Shindo Renmei movement. The Catholic Church began its proselytizing inside the Japanese community in the 1920s, initially attending to Japanese Catholics and the nisei. After the Second World War the Church participated in the clarification campaigns against Shindo Renmei. With the collapse of Shinto nationalism the missionary activities were especially directed towards the nisei and for that the incorporation of Japanese Catholic symbols proved highly effective. The combination of Japanese and Brazilian Catholic elements represented the development of a hyphenated religiosity, facilitating the trend of Catholic belonging and at the same time offering some cultural continuity.

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