Brazil also got the better of Germany in the fixture five years ago on home soil, winning in a dramatic penalty shootout to claim gold medal.
Thursdays game was played at the International Stadium in Yokohama — the same venue where Brazil beat Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.
Everton striker Richarlison’s hat-trick within the opening 30 minutes had Brazil well on its way to victory again, although second half goals from Nadiem Amiri and Ragnar Ache made it 3-2 and a nervy finish.
However a late goal from Bayer Leverkusen striker Paulinho capped off the victory and gave Brazil a vital opening three points.
Elsewhere on Thursday, hosts Japan go off to a winning start defeating South Africa 1-0.
South Africa had been depleted by Covid-19 infections after two players and a video analyst tested positive for Covid-19 in Tokyo on Sunday.
Subsequently 18 players were identified as close contacts and were forced to isolate in their respective rooms in the Tokyo Olympic Village.
A squad of 17 South Africa players did, though, pass pre-game Covid-19 protocols allowing for Thursday’s game to take place at the Tokyo Stadium.
There were also several surprises in the men’s tournament with none of Spain, France or Argentina winning their games.