Does anyone have some good sources for IQ, academic achievement, etc among Japanese-Brazilians, compared to their compatriots?

note: this article is worth taking a look at.

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42 Responses to Japanese-Brazilians

  1. JayMan says:

    Richard Lynn takes a look at the IQ and performance of the different racial groups in Brazil in The Global Bell Curve. There, he cites a value of 99 for the average IQ of the Japanese Brazilians.

  2. B.B. says:

    From Richard Lynn’s The Global Bell Curve:



    Fernandez, M. (2001 ). A study of the intelligence of children in Brazil. Mankind Quarterly, 42, 17-21.
    Paine, P., Dorea, J.G., Pasquali, L., and Monteiro, A.M. (1992). Growth and cognition in Brazilian school children: a spontaneously occurring intervention study. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 15, 169-183.

    • B.B. says:

      You can read the Fernandez article here.

    • A Uruguayan says:

      These data by Fernandez sounds like fake, just like almost many of data used by Lynn.

      The introduction is completely wrong about many things in Brazil, many White Brazilians have detectable Native-American and African ancestry, this type of admixing is the case even of Black Brazilians who generally have more European ancestry than the typical African American (many papers point to this, but I have the link below in my bookmarks (look at figure 4A for a speedy visual summary, read “SNP genotyping and genomic ancestry estimates” for the complete picture), if the models of IQ heritability so dear to HBDers are to be true then this data is either wrong or she had a very bad sample, the truth is that I think Lynn has no knowledge of population genetics and he just made up the data.


  3. RS says:

    They are discussed a bit here. Not quite what you request, but relevant. The gist is, he asserts is that they were sort of forced out of Japan, some are somewhat admixed, and even unadmixed ones didn’t do so hot upon returning to Japan, leading the government to try to de-return them.

  4. Gottlieb says:

    In Brazil there is a common saying among students who intend to vestibular:
    ”Kill a ”Japanese”.
    60% of the new generation of Japanese descent are mixed race. This may have some impact on the intelligence of the group in the next generations.
    The standard of living of Japanese descent in Brazil, I think I saw this in a tv report, is very similar to the standard of living in Japan itself. But in Brazil, who has an IQ above 100 is king.
    In terms of data compilations from various unofficial sources and through my own impression, Asians are Asians everywhere, including Brazil, efficient, pragmatic, quiet and intelligent.

  5. The Wikipedia entry on Japanese Brazilians emphasizes how little they integrated — or were allowed to integrate — until recently, so I wouldn’t expect much admixture.

    The original immigrants were welcomed as cheap farm labor on the coffee plantations. Then, starting in the 1970s, they made rapid economic progress. That doesn’t sound too different from Japanese immigrants’ collective experience in California.

    Wikipedia’s list of notable Japanese Brazilians is heavy on the artists (singers and models) and athletes (martial artists and footballers).

    • ironrailsironweights says:

      Wikipedia’s list of notable Japanese Brazilians is heavy on the artists (singers and models) and athletes (martial artists and footballers).

      The point, I would say, is that if a particular community’s most accomplished members are athletes and entertainers, it does not necessarily say much for the community’s achievements.


      • Gottlieb says:

        Isegoria (@Isegoria)
        ”The Wikipedia entry on Japanese Brazilians emphasizes how little they integrated — or were allowed to integrate — until recently, so I wouldn’t expect much admixture.”




        Up to 70.80 years, in fact the integration of the Japanese community in Brazil was not high, as was expected by the culture, language and race them.
        However, from there, Brazilians of Japanese origin, which in a large part, lived in rural Southeast, began moving to urban areas and thus increased intermarriage. Currently as I said, the new generation of Japanese descent who are called Yonseis, the great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants, 61% have at least one descendant of non-Japanese origin.


      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        Brazil is actually famous for its mixed martial arts fighters. And everyone knows about Japanese karate, from the movies but there are almost no Brazilian-Japanese fighters in modern MMA.

        The reason Brazil is associated with cage fighting is because of Gracie Jiu-jitsu. But Gracie was from Scotland.

        Asians look formidable in movie sword fights and unarmed combat – but it’s bogus. A good example is the plot of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. The evil villainess stole some secret text that allowed her to be almost invincible. Over and over Asian films and fables preach the notion that individual fighting success is achieved through scholarship.

        A Westerner like ‘Rocky’ prepares with calisthenics. Kung Fu masters study ancient scrolls in the monastery archives. In the real world great fighters like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were dim wits with fast hands and big muscles.

  6. Greying Wanderer says:

    “Wikipedia’s list of notable Japanese Brazilians is heavy on the artists (singers and models) and athletes (martial artists and footballers).”

    Add seaweed.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      I suspect that you do not understand the concept of “Gratuitous insults are unwelcome!”

  7. j3morecharacters says:

    I had a few Japanese Brazilian and Bolivian friends, and they did not consider themselves full Japanese but Okinawa islanders.

    Question: We carry 2 -3% Neanderthal genes. If we see from another vantage point, what % of sapiens genes we carry? I mean, when sapiens met neanderthal, how much contributed each to us?

    • Jim says:

      My parents lived at one time in Okinawa and I spent some summers there. The Okinawans are maybe a little different from the other Japanese there but not a whole lot I think.

      When I lived as a boy in Guam there were a small number of ethnic Japanese who lived there. They lived in the same villages as the Chamorros but they were clearly much smarter. In school the Chamorro kids as well as the guys from Palau who were sent to Guam to be educated were well-behaved but not real bright. But I remember one Japanese kid who was quite smart and got good grades.

      • Spike Gomes says:

        No, they’re quite different, travel outside the Naha metropolitan area and you’ll encounter dialectical Japanese nearly impossible for the standard Japanese speaker to make out. The lingual shift from Ryukyuan lanaguages to Japanese started only about 100 years ago and isn’t complete on the more isolated islands. The food is different, the last names are quite noticeably different, even the patterns of religious belief and practice are different from mainland Japanese.

        They’re also phenotypically different. Here in Hawaii where 1/3 of “Japanese” are of Okinawan descent, it’s pretty easy to tell who has Okinawan blood just by looks alone. They tend to be smaller, swarthier and hairier.

      • Jim says:

        “Travel outside the Naha metropolitan area” – When I lived in Okinawa almost everybody lived in the Naha area. Yeah the people up in the northeast are probably a little weird but they’re not typical Okinawans. Maybe they were a hundred years ago.
        “The food is different” – They all eat soba and fried rice, just like in Japan.
        In the Naha area where almost everybody lives they are not that different from Japanese.
        “The last names are quite noticeably different” – half of them seemed to be named “Sato-san”.
        I really think the differences are minor in Naha where most Okinawans live.

      • Jim says:

        I took a course in Japanese when I was there and I got to the point where I could sort of understand some of what people were saying. In the course I took nothing was mentioned about differences between the Naha dialect and other Japanese dialects. I’m sure they exist but I don’t think they’re a big deal.
        I remember being on a bus once and listening to the conversation of two teenage girls sitting in the seat in front of me and being able to follow a fair amount of it. Mama-san wouldn’t let’em do this and mama-san wouldn’t let’em do that.

      • Spike says:

        Try finding pork-focused cuisine outside Okinawa, particularly cans of Spam. Also, fried rice *isn’t* that common on mainland Japan. It’s a “Chinese” dish, and if you want it, you either have to make it yourself or go to a Chinese restaurant. You seem to be confusing people who live in Okinawa with Okinawans and Ryukyuans in general. There’s quite a bit of Naichi Japanese who moved there postwar. Also, only about a third of the island’s population live in the Naha metro area, where, of course mainlanders are concentrated, but not “the majority”.

        Also, if you’re foreign (or someone they don’t recognize as local Japanese), speakers of Japanese will converse with you in standard Japanese (with exceptions being in the Kansai area). Also using teenage girls in town as anecdotal evidence as to why Okinawans in general are just like mainlanders… Think about townie teenage girls as a general demographic the world over for a moment, will you?

        Look, the demographic data shows the nearly everyone over 30 on the island is still fluent in Okinawan, with many over 70 (60 in the countryside) being essentially monolingual in it. Okinawan Japanese as a dialect is distinctive enough to have it’s own dialectical entry in wikipedia, and only Kagoshima dialect is harder for the standard Japanese speaker to make out due to the codeswitching when Okinawans talk to each other.

        It seems like you’re kind of person who works mostly in the personal anecdotal range. Stuff like linguistic use in Okinawa and by extension, Japan, and the population of Naha are data points that are recorded in multiple places.

      • Jim says:

        Based on living in Okinawa and traveling in Japan I am pretty dubious about telling them reliably apart just based on physical appearance.

      • Jim says:

        I remember some Okinawan guy at work telling me how Okinawans were “hairier” than Japanese. And yeah there is some average differencde in body hair but it’s not something that jumps out at you and I had hardly noticed it.

    • Ambacti says:

      A north-south cline in Japanese IQ has previously been observed. If most of the Japanese in Brazil are from the south of the Japanese archiapelago, this may explain the lower IQ of Japanese Brazilians relative to the Japanese mean.

    • Jim says:

      When I visited Japan and traveled there fried rice was readily available. Living in the Naha area the food didn’t seem that different from Japan. The Naha area is very densely populated. Up in the north there wasn’t much population and they were quite rural.

      Speaking of the Okinawans I am thinking mostly of people living in the Naha area. Those people didn’t seem terribly different from the Japanese in Japan. I spent most of my time in the Naha area although I did visit other parts of Okinawa. The north was very rural and looked kind of backward and the people there may have been very differeent from the population of Naha but whereas the Naha area is extremally densely populated northern Okinawa in comparison seemed almost deserted.

      I’m surprised that I could in the short time that I was there start to make progress in conversing with people based on a language cousre I was taking in which nothing was mentioned about major differenes in the Japanese spoken locally.

      Some of the Okinawans at the place where I worked would sometimes talk about how Okinawans were different from Japanese. But they seemed to me to be making a lot out of rather minor cultural differences and physical differences such as the greater
      “hairiness” of the Okinawans. Big deal.

      • Jim says:

        Filipinos and Japanese are really quite different. Okinawans and Japanese just think they’re different.

      • Spike Gomes says:

        Obviously if you lived in Japan and had no clue about the existence of dialectical Japanese in different areas of Japan, you weren’t paying much attention. Yes, it’s not taught in class, but you’d have to live stuck in a hole not to notice it around you. Lots of Japanese comedic entertainment is based on comedians from Osaka playing up Kansai stereotypes on TV, which is about as distinctive as a cockney style of speaking is from the Received pronunciation of English.

        Also you continue to to insist that the majority of the population of Okinawa lives in Naha, despite the fact that Japanese census data shows no such thing. This is something recorded as fact. Also you seem to insist that there is no difference between Ryukyuans when genetic research which shows a far lesser percentage of Yayoi ancestry amongst Ryukyuans, written history, and the actual people of the islands insist that it’s just not so.

        Yeah, I’m just gonna discount everything you say on this subject from now on. I’m willing to dig up the genetic study for other interested parties, however. Not you, though.

    • Jim says:

      In the place where I worked in Okinawa I learned the first day how to carry out a phone converstaion in Japanese. Just keep saying “hi” and “des’ka”.

      • Jim says:

        Once some Okinawans in a car stopped me and asked for directions to some place in broken English. I answered back in broken Japanese based on the course I was taking telling them where to turn left and right. They seemed to understand what I was telling them, smiled and thanked me.

  8. Jim says:

    I’ve heard that Japanese-Brazilians who return to Japan are considered somewhat backward there. So it seems the same people who are elite in Brazil are below average in Japan.

    • Brazilian Monkey says:

      Not that I expect the HBD crowd to be sensible more than 30% of the time, but japanese descendants living here in Brazil being more successful than brazilians of other races – i.e. shitskins and “whites” – on average, doesn’t necessarily imply that the ones who emigrated to Japan were really part of the elite. For example, I’m not sure if any nikkei brazilian would quit his engineering job in Brazil to do manual labour in Japan.

  9. David Epstein says:

    In Brazil they publish the results of the university admissions exams, or at least they did when I was there. Typically the top performers will have a mixture of Arab, Ashkenazic Jewish, and Japanese names, as well as Portuguese ones.

    While in New York the big construction firms have Italian names and the rag trade is Jewish, in Brazil the construction firms often have Jewish names and the garment industry is Syro-Lebanese (“turco” in Portuguese because that’s what the immigrants’ passports said a century ago). And the “Chinese” restaurants are mostly run by Japanese-Brazilians.

  10. Acres of Statuary says:

    Summarizing the LAT article linked:
    “An estimated 800,000 to 1 million people of Japanese origin live in Brazil–slightly more than in the United States–and they account for only three-fifths of one percent of Brazil’s 147 million people.”


    “Currently, 13% of the university’s 30,000 students are nikkei.”

    So if USP is representative of the whole country in terms of nikkei enrollment % then they outperform the rest of Brazilians in terms of college admissions by a factor of 21, which seems like a lot. Maybe the nikkei cluster in the Sao Paulo area.

    • gcochran9 says:

      The Japanese-Brazilians are somewhat concentrated in the state of São Paulo (1.9% of Japanese descent). So only over-represented by a factor of six or seven. More so in technical fields, apparently.

  11. Der Kölner says:

    I wonder why human biological diversity so often concentrates on Intelligence and academic succes. For me much more interesting ist the “big picture”, which of course also includes intelligence and academic succes but also things as demographic bevaviour and the ability tp succes in conflicts, violent or non violent and interracial marriage/children. If you look at this big picture north east asians seem to have worse conditions than other groups. I suspect that in every country where nirth east asians and other groups live together the asians get beaten up by others on the school yard tha the other way round. The same is probably true for vioelent conflicts between grown ups. When it comes to interracial marriage the women are asian, the man nonasian, this is a clear sign of others being social dominant. And last but leat there is demographic pattern whichs says that north esst asians have less children than europeans. A lot of these factors has of course to do with the fact that north east asians are built much more gracile than praticallly every other racial group. Also north east asians are more feminine than others, both men and women. They additionally have a lesser muscular tonus.
    So when I look at japanaese brazilians their academic succes would be also a thing I would be interested in, but not the only thing.

    • JayMan says:

      “I wonder why human biological diversity so often concentrates on Intelligence and academic succes. For me much more interesting ist the “big picture”, which of course also includes intelligence and academic succes but also things as demographic bevaviour and the ability tp succes in conflicts, violent or non violent and interracial marriage/children.”

      Here you go:

      Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality | JayMan’s Blog

    • mmmm says:

      In civilized world with law and death penalty, NE asian thrives since those alpha guys most likely end up in prison for life and dead. In primitive world, aggressiveness rules. In democratic societies with personal free choice, dominant personality have edge. What you talk about is not new, Rushton did already. Nothing is perfect. You gain something and lose something.

      Historically democratic societies last not very long due to self-destructive process. We might head back to feudal society again with increasing rich and poor gap since human societies last longest in feudal system. In feudal system, those alpha traits will be in big trouble. Under feudal system, obedient subjects have better chance to survive.

      Just imagine you are a owner of apartment complex. And what kind of tenants you want on your properties. But when social order breaking down, primitive species like bacteria will win.

  12. HBD proponents like measurables. Femininity, aggression, resilience, religiosity, and a dozen other things are also fascinating, but getting good measurements for them is tougher. Indirection is sometimes the only way home. Similarly, HBD proponents do speculate on athletic ability and the success of various groups in one sport or another. But track-and-field is a favorite, because the signal-to-noise ratio is better.

    This criticism comes up fairly often, and I have to think there is an implied disparagement.

    • Anonymous says:

      here’s an interesting picture. http://speedendurance.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/armin-hary-100-meters-1960-olympics-photo-finish-300.jpg

      one might say that “barriers” have been lowered since 1960. have they? perhaps barriers have been put up to white sprinters.

    • Anonymous says:

      the probability of this outcome if all had an equal chance of winning would be 1 in 20. that is, 1 over 6 choose 3. but hary was the world record holder at the time at 10.0.

    • Anonymous says:

      or the high jump. “white men can’t jump” right? well of the record holders two are black. the rest are white.

      the long jump? lots of whites.

      the klitschko brothers?

      blacks may have an advantage at the very high end of some sports, but there’s a lot of overlap in the distributions of ability of the races.

      in the case of the nba it seems clear to me that american whites are discriminated against. why else would all the best white players be foreign?

      and i’ve been told by someone who would know that in corner back and safety nfl scouts won’t even look at white players.

  13. Greg, in http://pseudoerasmus.com/2014/05/05/economic-growth-human-biodiversity/comment-page-1/#comment-31 I mentioned some Brazilian sources including one which cites intermarriage & admixture rates for Japanese-Brazilians

  14. Alat says:

    Brazilian here. There is a vast literature in Portuguese on the Japanese-Brazilian community. They are more numerous than quoted above, reaching some 2.5 m people, the vast majority of them in the state of São Paulo, spilling over to neighboring Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul. Like most other settler-immigrant communities in Brazil, Japanese-Brazilians only assimilated after World War II, and the newer generations are considerably admixed with other stocks. Japanese-Brazilians have the results you’d expect, earning more and being less criminal than all other elements of Brazilian society, with the exception of two subgroups of Brazilian “whites”, namely Jews and Arabs. [Keep in mind that Brazil has relatively few Jews for its size but a whole lot of Christian Arabs (e.g., there are more Lebanese in Brazil than in Lebanon), so much so that it is one of the few countries in which the Arab lobby is way stronger than the Jewish lobby.

    I regret I do not have the time to compile a bibliography for you, but a few searches for “japoneses brasil” or “nipo-brasileiros” with Google Brazil (.br) and Google-translating the results will get you the main results rather quickly. You may wish to begin with this paper by a famous Brazilian sociologist; it has the data for the average income on table 7, page 11.

    Click to access 9fcfd506707c377982.pdf

  15. Kei says:

    Of course, Okinawans and Japanese speak the same language today. Our education/ economic system is centralized, meaning controlled by the federeal government. We all have to fallow him.

    First, Okinawan dialect/language is a different from Japanese spoken by Okinawan today and the mainlanders cannot understand what we say if we use dialect/language and less and less people speak it nowadays.

    Back to the subject, the education level in Okinawa and Southern Japan is quite low.
    Here is an average elementary + high school test score by each prefecture and you will see every year, Okinawa is always on the bottom. It’s because our value is different. Some people don’t care if you don’t go to a university. Wether you call us fully Japanese or not, our cultural value is different because a doctoral degree is really useless on the island. So, the motivation is lower compared to the mainland Japanese. (Or you can call it “inferior”) There is less competition as well. Therefore, some statistics showes negative aspects of Okinawa such as education level, divorce rate, single parent rate, #of children per household. So for some, our mentality resemble Japanese, but there are some statistical differences between Okinawans and the mainland.

    It is true that most immigrants from Japan are from Okinawa because we were poor. The statistics by the Okinawan government estimate 10% of Japanese are Okinawans in Brazil and Hawaii and 70% of Japanese in Argentina and Peru.

    So my point is, who left Japan from 1900-1950? The poor ones who had to leave for their survival, whose often from southern Japan including Kyushu and Hiroshima. Their importance on education was not the same as the average Japanese.

    On the other hand, maybe Japanese Brazilians worked really hard to educate themselves compared with those who stayed in Japan because they started from nothing and they expect their children to get better education.

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