Japanese learned Portuguese with a Pernambuco accent
Japanese Ryu Uchihara caught the internet’s attention due to his “different” accent (see video above). Born in Japan, the 25-year-old speaks Portuguese fluently and went viral on social media in a video published on Thursday (2), in which he shows all his ability with the Portuguese language, complete with a Recife accent.
Almost 17 thousand kilometers separate Japan from Recife, but the distance did not stop Ryu Uchihara from learning to speak Portuguese. In an interview with g1, Ryu said that he learned the language when he worked with people from Pernambuco at a steakhouse in Tokyo, 5 years ago.
“I never made an effort, so to speak, to learn Portuguese, it was just through coexistence. I heard them speaking and the first thing that came to mind was: ‘I want to understand what they are talking about'”, said Ryu.
Ryu’s videos were made by the Brazilian channel Samurai Life, which talks about life in Tokyo, and already have more than 2 million views on Instagram and 1 million on Tik Tok.
In them, the interviewer asks if he is not Brazilian, but Ryu clarified – he is 100% Japanese and learned Portuguese before even visiting Brazil.
Ryu also mentioned his Brazilian friends’ habit of encouraging the use of swear words. “They trained me a lot, they taught me a lot of slang, a lot of nonsense, like tabacudo, fuleiro, donzelo, abilolado”, he said.
In addition to the help of his friends, the Japanese also consumed Brazilian content, such as videos from channels like Porta dos Fundos and pranks from Pernambuco’s Ítalo Sena.
In a video sent to g1, Ryu appears wearing the Sport Club do Recife shirt. He confesses that he “adopted” the Pernambuco team after seeing a video of the red-negros’ war cry “Cazá, cazá” and decided to buy the shirt online.
And with the sudden popularity, he confesses that he is thinking about producing content on the internet in the future, but as something secondary. “It was all out of the blue, I’m a little scared, actually; I have to get used to it. But I’m enjoying making videos, seeing people being happy”, said Ryu.
Ryu came to Brazil only once, in 2021, when he spent 20 days in Pernambuco. He remembers that he visited tourist attractions in Greater Recife, such as the slopes of Olinda, Alceu Valença’s house and Boa Viagem beach.
“I just couldn’t swim at all. I was scared because people were talking about sharks, you know?”, said the young man.
The visit took place in April of that year and, despite the rainy season in the city, Ryu says he suffered from the temperature: “My friends said it was cold, but it was nothing! I was dying of heat, I was in front of the fan all the time.”
The Japanese remembers that even though he already spoke Portuguese at the time, he was not always able to understand what Brazilians were saying. He even got away with a robbery for it.
“He spoke very quickly and with a lot of slang. I understood nothing and my friends shouted at me to get in the car. Afterwards, they told me that the guy was asking for money and a cell phone and, at the time, I still apologized stupidly, I thought he was I wanted to make friends,” he said.
Ryu currently works in the call center of a Brazilian food company in Japan, translating complaints from Japanese customers into Portuguese, and guarantees that he does not rule out the possibility of living in Brazil.
“I certainly enjoyed it a lot! I intend to go back and then I’ll see what the situation is like. I don’t know, for me, life is a breeze, right?”, he said.
* Intern under the supervision of editor Juliana Cavalcanti.