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Gosei (fifth-generation Nikkei) facts for kids

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Gosei (五世, literally, "fifth generation") is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America and South America to name the children born to Japanese people who immigrated. The emigrants or immigrants who were born in Japan are called Issei; and their children born in the new country are called Nisei (second generation). The grandchildren of Issei are called Sansei (third generation); and their great-grandchildren are called Yonsei. The children of the Yonsei are the great-great-grandchilderen of Issei ancestors; and these children are called Gosei. In other words, the children of at least one Yonsei parent are called Gosei

The character and uniqueness of the Gosei is recognized in its social history. The Gosei are the subject of on-going academic research in the United States and in Japan.


Família Japonesa em Bastos 1930
The great-great-grandchildren of these Japanese-Brazilian (Nipo-brasileiros) immigrants would be called Gosei.

The earliest organized group of Japanese emigrants settled in Mexico in 1897.

Imigration to Brazil began in 1908. Today, the community which grew from the immigrant children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren has become the largest Japanese emigrant population outside of Japan, including approximately 1.5 million Brazilians. Other communities of Yonsei grew up in the United States,

The use of the term Gosei was modeled after an Issei pattern or template. In the 1930s, the term Issei came into common use. The word replaced the term "immigrant" (ijusha). This change in usage mirrored an evolution in the way the Issei looked at themselves. The label Issei also included the idea of belonging to the new country.

Cultural profile

The term Nikkei (日系) was created by sociologists in the late 20th century. The Nikkei include all of the world's Japanese immigrants and their descendants.

The Issei were born in Japan, and their cultural perspective was primarily Japanese; but they were in another country by choice. Their Gosei great-great-grandsons and great-great-granddaughters grew up with a national and cultural point-of-view that was different from their parents.

Although the Issei kept an emotional connection with Japan, they created homes in a country far from Japan. The Gosei had never known a country other than the one into which they were born.

Generation Cohort description
Issei (一世) The generation of people born in Japan who immigrated to another country.
Nisei (二世) The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Australia, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan either to at least one Issei parent.
Sansei (三世) The generation of people born to at least one Nisei parent.
Yonsei (四世) The generation of people born to at least one Sansei parent
Gosei (五世) The generation of people born to at least one Yonsei parent

The Issei, Nisei, Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei generations reflect distinctly different attitudes to authority, gender, religious practice, and other matters.

Differences among these national Gosei developed because of the histories of their Japanese emigrant ancestors.

Gosei in Brazil

Japanese-Brazilian (Nipo-brasileiro) Gosei are a small part of an ethnic minority in Brazil. In 1990, 0.8% of the Nipo-Brasileiros community were Gosei.

Gosei in Canada

Japanese-Canadian Gosei are typical for any ethnic group.

Gosei in Peru

Japanese-Peruvian (Nipo-peruano) Gosei make up less than 1.0% of the Nikkei population in 2000.

Gosei in the US

The lives of the Japanese-Americans of earlier generations contrasts with the Gosei because they have English-speaking grandparents. According to a 2011 columnist in The Rafu Shimpo of Los Angeles, "Younger Japanese Americans are more culturally American than Japanese" and "other than some vestigial cultural affiliations, a Yonsei or Gosei is simply another American."

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