During the late 1800s, Japan was experiencing a stagnating economy, poor living conditions, exponential population growth,
and high unemployment. This recession motivated many Japanese people to search elsewhere, such as the United States, the Kingdom
of Hawai'i, Brazil, and Peru, for work as well as a better life. In 1898, some 790 Japanese men that were predominately
from poor farming backgrounds and who were between the ages of 20 and 45 immigrated to Peru first and were hired as cheap
contract laborers on coastal plantations where their hope was to save enough money for the return home upon termination of
their four-year contracts. Many ultimately stayed having been unable to save enough money, migrated to the cities, and
opened small business. Although they constitute only 0.3 percent of Peru's population, the country today has the second largest
ethnic Japanese diaspora in South America after Brazil.
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