A Transmedia Documentary

Good Luck Soup is a transmedia documentary project on the journey of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians, from past to present.

Told through both a traditional film and an interactive documentary, the feature film tells the story of one Japanese American family, while the interactive film tells the stories of many.

The Film:

After years of rejecting his Japanese heritage, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi sets out on a humorous, yet insightful journey to discover if his joyful grandmother and other family members also struggled with their Japanese American identities, just as he did while growing up in a predominantly White neighborhood in the Midwest.

Spanning three living generations, the Hashiguchi family has been consistently influenced, both positively and negatively, by their Japanese heritage. The various experiences have produced unique perspectives on race, identity, religion and heritage that continues to change as the family assimilates deeper into the American fabric. However, as time changes the cultural makeup of the family, they still look to the past in an attempt to learn from and preserve their Japanese heritage.

In the United States, the discussion on race is often limited to a Black or White perspective. In Good Luck Soup, we join Matthew on a journey to discover his family’s experiences as Japanese Americans within the Black and White surroundings of the Midwest. Along the way, we will learn of his life and the lives of his grandmother and family members. For them, what does it mean to be Japanese American? And, how has that identity and experience changed over time?

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The Interactive Film:

GOOD LUCK SOUP INTERACTIVE is web-based and interactive documentary featuring a collection of stories on the Japanese American and Japanese Canadian experience that have been uploaded from the public and gathered by our team.

Individual stories from different generations, people and places unfold in a series of seven chapters that when viewed together reflect the universal themes of immigration, integration and identity.

This format allows us to showcase the diverse experience of those with Japanese ancestry, from past to present, and to educate a broad audience on their unique history and changing identity within American and Canadian culture.

Good Luck Soup Interactive updates this shared experience by actively collecting stories, photographs and information through self-uploaded submissions and curated content. Allowing the continuous flow of stories and submissions enables our story to change along with the evolving identity of those with Japanese heritage in the United States and Canada.