Good Luck Soup

“Zōni” or “good-luck-soup”

A traditional Japanese soup containing a variety of mochi, vegetables, and seafood that is served with friends and family every Oshogatsu, or New Years Day, to ensure a year of prosperity and good fortune.

When Japanese Isolationism ended in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Western Coast of the United States and Canada experienced a surge of Japanese immigration.
Many of the immigrants worked as produce farmers and soon gained prominence within the agricultural community. But, as their achievements increased so too did anti-Japanese sentiment.
As a result of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, over 120,000 Japanese Americans and 20,000 Japanese Canadians were forcibly evacuated from their homes and incarcerated in internment camps in 1942.
Three years later in 1945, the Canadian government ordered the closure of all Japanese Canadian Internment Camps. In the United States, the last Japanese American Internment Camp closed in 1946.
After their release from the camps, Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians rebuilt their lives in various states and cities throughout North America. Some returned to the West Coast, while others opted for new beginnings elsewhere.

Good Luck Soup is a transmedia documentary project on the journey of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians before, during, and after World War II.

Told through both a traditional film and an interactive documentary, this experience features a collection of stories that have been uploaded from the public or documented and gathered by our team.

Here you can view multiple unique stories told in a sequence of seven chapters. Each chapter is a self-contained story, but when viewed together the chapters reflect universal narratives of immigration, integration and identity.

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