America ReFramed

Good Luck Soup

Season 05  Episode 5

"I don't want to be Japanese!" filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi recalls yelling at his father. Growing up half Japanese/half Italian in a predominantly white Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, he wondered what made him different.

In GOOD LUCK SOUP, Hashiguchi sets out on a journey to discover how the rest of his multi-racial family made sense of their lives and their Japanese American heritage. He sees a wide range of personal choices, some quite different from his own, as they tried to navigate between a new culture and their own backgrounds.

Surprisingly, he finds a role model in his elderly Japanese grandmother, who was interned during World War II when America put Japanese Americans in prison camps out of fear they would be disloyal. "I lost 2-1/2 years of my life," she remembers, but says she has no time for bitterness. "I am Japanese but my mind is modern and US, freedom."