Japan’s Brutal Modernization That Pushed Millions of Immigrants into Latin America

Credit, Museum of Japanese Immigration in Peru

photo caption,

About 245,000 Japanese migrated to Latin America between the end of the 19th century and the outbreak of World War II.

In 1639, Japan adopted a policy known as sakoku (closed country), whereby the Asian nation closed its doors to the rest of the world by forbidding the entry and exit of people.

Anyone who enters or leaves the country will be sentenced to death.

This isolation lasted for over 200 years until, in 1853, an American naval officer named Matthew Perry entered what is now Tokyo Bay with a fleet of fighters.

Perry succeeded in getting Japan to open up to international trade, but the country continued to forbid its citizens from leaving the territory.

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