This is the first of a series of articles about work sites through which to map out Japanese immigrants' Cuban journey.

kicks off a research project that aims at documenting the professions and work places of Japanese immigrants in Cuba in the first half of the 20th century.  This topic is one of the most rewarding search routes I’ve ventured into for the website.   

By wiring together oral and written testimonies, information from books, and family photos, among other materials, it has been possible to make out a past image (albeit a still hazy one) of a community of gardeners, cafe owners, barbers, shopkeepers, farmers, miners, railway workers and ice cream makers that actively contributed to Cuban society.  Also, one of the joys of writing this series has been to connect personally or indirectly with Cuban Nikkei, to whom I thank for sharing their stories. 

On October 15, 2014, Japanese drummer Eitetsu Hayashi and his group Fu-un performed Rhythm of Nature at Mella Theater in Havana City.  They offered a second concert on October 17 at Movie Theater Miramar, also in Havana.  On both occasions they played to full house, and their impressive performances were a complete success among Cuban audiences.  A nice touch about these concerts was that admission was free.

 Mella  Theater,  Oct.  15,  2014

Mella  Theater,  Oct.  15,  2014