West Encounters East

About This Episode

The story of Japanese Brazilians is little-known outside Brazil, and yet they constitute the second-largest Japanese population in the world. West Encounters East examines the lifestyles and traditions of artists from this community and celebrates the fruitful engagement of Japanese identity with Brazilian nationality.

Traveling to Brazil and Japan, Executive Producer Stella Holmes and Producer Linda Corley explore the historical, social and aesthetic elements found in the works of Japanese Brazilian artists, whose unique perspective has so far received little recognition in the West. Over the course of a year, they interview artists, including Tomie Ohtake, an icon of the Japanese Brazilian artistic community, and sculptor Yutaka Toyota as well as Japanese Brazilians who have migrated back to Japan.

Told primarily through the artists' canvases, sculptures, ceramics and photography, the film brings to light the dynamic and little-known saga of the Japanese presence in Brazil. Their mass immigration, adaptation to Brazil and assimilation into the artistic community are key to this story.