Immigrant to Paraguay hatches daimyo castle plan

Kyodo

A daimyo’s castle in Latin America may sound bizarre, but a 65-year-old Japanese immigrant chicken-farm titan here in the Paraguayan capital is adding the final touches to his lifework.

Hiromichi Maehara, who runs a poultry farm in the suburb of Asuncion, has erected a four-story Japanese feudal castle at a cost of about 100 million yen.

According to Maehara, who is originally from the town of Shinichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, he had a Japanese design firm draw up the blueprint, and he imported “kawara” roof tiles from Japan. He said he did most of the construction work himself.

Maehara came to Paraguay in 1958 and started a poultry farm. He has since expanded business and now has some 600,000 chickens.

He said his farm holds a 50 percent share of the country’s egg market.

Maehara is currently the honorary head of the Japanese community in Paraguay.

“I started from scratch in this country, and I want to leave a symbol of success for the sake of Japanese descendants down (through) the generations,” he said.

Maehara said he plans to work on the interior this year and then complete the entire work, hoping to make the castle a memorial museum of Japanese immigrants to Paraguay.