This paper analyzes the role of religiosity and the impact of social support in the lives of Brazilian migrants in Japan. Despite being in Japan for over two decades, the Brazilians are not integrated into the local society. This social alienation has a negative effect on the health of the migrants, making them prone to mental and physical distress. The lack of language skills prevents the migrants from looking for professional help, and even if they seek for it they cannot express themselves properly. In this context, the migrants found support among their compatriots and religious groups. This essay is based on ethnographic research carried out in Japan between 2003 and 2006 and focuses on the work and activities of the Catholics among the Brazilian migrants. The data collection was based on 15 semi-structured interviews, which were conducted among the members. Besides the religious support, the group offers the migrants a social support space for their daily lives in Japan. Therefore, the group represents a place of socialization and social support for many Brazilians, which helps them to overcome their feelings of vulnerability. The ecclesiastic power, on the other hand, regulates the migrants' behavior through an ethos and a world view legitimized by the group.
Matsue, R. Y. (2012). “Sentir-se em casa longe de casa”: Vulnerabilidade, religiosidade e apoio social entre os migrantes Brasileiros no Japão. Ciencia e Saude Coletiva, 17(5), 1135–1142. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000500007