In the 1930''s, which was the peak period for the Japanese immigration in Brazil, because of the unemployment of his father, Japanese Brazilian novel writer Tarou Matsui immigrated to Brazil at the aged of 19. He is so called a "jyun-nisei" of the Japanese Brazilian. He dedicated to farming and after he retired from it, he have been writing novel for over 30 years at a pace of around 1 story per year.
In 2010 and 2012, 2 pieces of his short story collections were published in Japan respectively with the name of "舟"(the hollow boat) and "遠声" (distant voice), by Hiko Nishinari from Ritsumeikan University and Syuhei Hosogawa from International Research Center for Japanese Studies.
Hosogawa complimented on his broad range of writing style and he even said that "Matsui is the only Japanese Brazilian writer that is worth dividing his writings into different periods". He divided Matsui''s writings in 3 periods and in the 1st period (1966-1989), "舟", which is the last literary work in 1st period, has a scene as below.
"hey, are you the Japanese who is living in the Jiiasu Farm?"
"yes, i am, for the blood, but I am belong to here."
The hero Keishi answered to the question asked by Eba, who is a woman of mixed Japanese and native parentage. Even though he having the blood of Japanese, he asserted his identity of "belong to here" and showed that it is not proper to call him as a Japanese. His tendency of refusing to be called as a Japanese really attracts me a lot. And also, what does "belong to here" actually mean? Does "here" mean the country Brazil? the hinterland far from the Japanese Brazilian society? the Jiiasu Farm? It is really an ambiguous answer. In Matsui''s writings, what is the image of the Japanese Brazilian like? Especially the vagrant like the hero in the "舟", where is he heading for? It is the biggest question that I would like to answer in this essay.