"We had to live the American Dream twice."
Fugetsu-Do is more than a little candy store; since 1903 it has been an anchor for the Japanese-American community in Little Tokyo, centered at the heart of Downtown LA. At over 115 years old, this family-run business is one of the oldest in Los Angeles and its history is emblematic of the immigrant experience in America. It hasn’t been easy and yet, as its owner Brian Kito says, “the shop itself has an overwhelming desire to exist - it wants to survive.”
The ingredients of the brightly-colored pieces of mochi-gashi that line Fugetsu-Do's wood-paneled cases include so much more than rice flour and sweet bean paste. Mixed inside are stories of joy and pain, tradition and racism, legacy and loss. Survival is never easy; it’s complicated and messy, full of contradictions and surprises. In the three generations that the Kito Family has been running Fugetsu-Do, the store has become a memory bank for the community and the stories the line its walls could not be more relevant in today's America.
For filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi, growing up half Japanese/half Italian in a white Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, was a difficult experience. 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.