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Sardine Factory

   Ushizuke Nakamashi landed in the Port of Santos in 1915, where he worked for some time as a longshoreman. As a custom of the time, the wives of Japanese immigrants came from their homeland and only knew each other through photography. Dona Shingue comes from Japan to marry Ushizuke Nakamashi.


    Around 1930, Ushizuke Nakamashi visited Ilha Grande Bay, noticed a large quantity of sardines and decided to explore the fish at Bananal Beach. When he arrived at Bananal, this small community had family farming as its main economic activity. Fishing was occasional, in canoes or on the coast.


   Ushizuke then became known as João Nakamashi and his wife, Maria Nakamashi (it was common among immigrants to adopt Brazilian names to facilitate communication). João starts his business, industrializing sardines to sell to the Japanese colony in São Paulo.


    The fish was smoked to be consumed in soups. After some time, the sardines are salted and canned. The family grows, with their children Iwauo, Hiroshi, Sakae, Benedito, Maria Esmeralda and Getúlia.

   The Sardine Factory is built, the children help with the work. The eldest son Iwauo Nakamashi, and his wife Fuzie Nakamashi, take the venture forward and build a new factory, larger and with modern machinery.


   The height of activity took place in the mid-60's and 70's when records point to around 20 buildings around the island operating in the activity. The largest and most important of them was located on Matariz beach, where its ruins can still be seen.

   At the end of that decade, the family's finances went through a serious crisis and his brother Hiroshi Nakamashi left his son Paulo to take care of the family and came to the island to help brother. Two years later, he returns to São Paulo and Kiyoshi Nakamashi, better known as Preto, comes to help his parents. Preto still worked with sardines, but in the mid-1980s the activity was no longer sustainable, due to strict inspections, a decrease in the supply of fish, competition from other regions of the country and new Environmental Laws. In 1987, the Nakamashis, pioneers in sardine exploration, closed their doors.


    In the 1990s, Preto and his wife Noriko, who had 3 children: Roberta, Diego and Rafaela, began to receive visitors from São Paulo through friends and relatives on the premises of the old factory.

   The old Sardinha Factory then begins to transform itself into a Pousada.  _cc781905-54cbb-bad-cf58d_581905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_    Old salting tanks turned into bedrooms, beds are made of bamboo. The Pousada do Preto appears, a great spot for young people who ventured into a destination still little explored. Even on those trips, many couples met, are now married and still frequent the place responsible for the beginning of their romance.


    The last factory to be closed was that of Matariz in 1992, when the activity at the site was completely stopped.

Text: Nakamashi family


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