News Archive
Oct 1, 2014 - Peace Boat's Asian Voyage Supports the Dreams of Young Brazilians in Japan
Essay contest winners Lucas Ryoji Muramoto and Samara Mizutani César celebrate their awards with contest judge Edweine Loureiro (left), Head Consul Marco Farani (center), and Peace Boat Director Yoshioka Tatsuya (right)
Feelings of self-doubt and anxiety are a common experience for any teenager, but for young people growing up immersed in two very different languages and cultures, that experience can be greatly magnified. This is often the case for young Brazilians who live and go to school in Japan, and must keep up in both the Japanese and Portuguese languages, while also trying to accommodate two distinctly different cultural influences and fit into a society where the difference in their physical appearance can immediately make them stand out. More than 200,000 Brazilians reside in Japan, and for the young people growing up here, issues of bullying, feeling isolated at school, language ability and identity confusion can weigh them down and dim their future.

The Peace & Green Boat will give 1,000 people the opportunity to form new ties of friendship across borders
Keen to provide hope and support, Peace Boat and the Brazilian Consulate in Japan recently worked together to launch an essay scholarship program that will give two youth the opportunity to join Peace Boat's 10-day voyage in Northeast Asia this Fall. Called the "Peace & Green Boat," this special regional voyage will visit Korea, Taiwan, Nagasaki, Okinawa and Fukuoka, and aims to promote ties of friendship between people of countries in Asia that have historically been in conflict. It will also give participants the opportunity to experience one another's culture, and learn about issues of war, peacebuilding, and environmental sustainability as they travel. How to successfully create a multiethnic and multicultural society will also be an important topic for participants to think about and discuss.

After receiving numerous essay submissions and carefully considering all of them, a panel led by journalist and poet Edweine Loureiro selected 15-year old Samara Mizutani César and 14-year old Lucas Ryoji Muramoto to join the voyage. "I am very excited about being chosen," said Samara, "because it has been my dream to travel to other countries, and my dream came true!" In the future, she added, she wants to do work that involves helping people, and experiencing Peace Boat will be an important step for her. For Lucas, meeting people from various backgrounds and cultures is what he is looking forward to most. "I think meeting so many different types of people will be an opportunity to make me even more human," he said. He added that didn't think he would win the essay contest, but just having the chance to write down his thoughts and feelings about being a Brazilian in Asia was a valuable opportunity in itself that he never had before. The essays of Samara and Lucas will be printed in Alternativa, the largest Portuguese language magazine in Japan, and after the voyage they will also both submit articles to the magazine describing their experiences.

Approximately 1,000 people will participate in the Peace and Green Boat, half from Japan and half from Korea. To Yoshioka Tatsuya, the Director of Peace Boat, having the two Brazilian youth onboard the will create a new bridge between Asia and Latin America on the voyage. "Such direct experiences of communication and sharing of life together among people from different countries and backgrounds provides a hint on how to reduce conflict in the world, and how to achieve a peaceful and sustainable world," he added.
Consul Marco Farani of the Brazilian Consulate in Tokyo worked with Peace Boat to create a project that gives hope to young people
Consul Marco Farani of the Brazil Consulate in Tokyo, who actively searches for various ways to support the Brazilian community in Japan, emphasized how important it is to give young people hope for their future. "We can change our society for the better with small initiatives such as this," he said. "We can find a future for our young children step by step."

The Peace & Green Boat (Peace Boat's 89th Voyage), will depart from Hakata, Japan on October 30 and travel to the ports of Busan, Jeju, Keelung, Naha and Nagasaki before returning to Hakata on November 8. The Voyage is being organized in partnership with Korea's largest environmental organization, the Korea Green Foundation.
Documents for download