Made in Japan

2015 "From Nagoya to Nashville... one more time"
6.7| 1h29m| en| More Info
Released: 17 March 2015 Released
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Synopsis

Made in Japan is the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the first female Japanese country music star. From playing the USO circuit throughout Asia to headlining in Las Vegas and recording 7 albums for Columbia records, Tomi’s career culminates in a 1964 performance at The Grand Ole Opry where she followed Johnny Cash and received the only standing ovation of the night. Forty years later, Tomi and her husband set out on a journey through Japan and across the United States to fulfill a dream of performing at The Opry one more time. Made in Japan is a funny yet poignant multi-cultural journey through music, marriage, and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman.

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Reviews

Odelecol Pretty good movie overall. First half was nothing special but it got better as it went along.
TrueHello Fun premise, good actors, bad writing. This film seemed to have potential at the beginning but it quickly devolves into a trite action film. Ultimately it's very boring.
Megamind To all those who have watched it: I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.
AshUnow This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.
graz-6 A fantastic movie about a fantastic Lady. I've had the privilege of knowing Tomi since the early "70's. My wife and I still attend her concerts if she's playing on our annual trips to Japan. The movie nailed the PC culture in Nashville (just like the George Strait song "Murder on Music Row") Bottom line, this is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, not because I know the producer Josh Bishop, or Tomi, it's because it was a beautifully done move which captured the essence of Tomi. She's one of the best entertainers I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I'm proud to have been a part of it.
David Ferguson Greetings again from the darkness. My favorite documentary at this year's Oak Cliff Film Festival introduced me to the world's first female Japanese Country and Western music star: Tomi Fujiyama. She made a historic appearance at the 39th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry in 1964 and director Josh Bishop follows her efforts at realizing a dream of a return performance.The first thing we notice about Tomi is her effervescent personality and zest for life. Her smile lights up any room she enters, and her observations are often laugh-out-loud funny. The next thing we notice is that she is incredibly talented as a guitar player and singer. She is no circus act, but instead a world class musical talent … not just in 1964 when she followed Johnny Cash onto the Opry stage, but even today as she belts out The Tennessee Waltz.Filmmaker Bishop does nice work in allowing us to learn Tomi's history, beginning with the destruction of her family home in Japan during WWII, and her later trip to the United States with her father. Her early career was spent performing for the U.S. military – this during a time when female performers in Japan were rare, and those that toured the world were nearly non-existent.The filmmaking process began in 2005 and the early scenes blend seamlessly with more recent footage. It's pretty interesting to watch as Tomi and her husband re-trace her early time in Las Vegas, New York City and Nashville. It's especially touching and entertaining as she meets up with 91 year old Oscar, who was part of the "Lonzo & Oscar" duo who pushed to get Tomi some of her early gigs. Watching them play together is watching two people who truly love what they do – two people born to make music. And that's the overriding feeling of the entire movie. Tomi dreams of standing on the Opry stage again, but she never misses a chance to perform … anywhere, anytime.The historical aspects of this story are impressive – multicultural and multigenerational facets play a role, and the enthusiasm shown by Tomi make her so much fun to pull for. Mr. Bishop noted in the post-screening Q&A that the final cut of the film will be different from this version, thanks to recent developments involving SXSW, Jimmy Kimmel, and yes, the Grand Ole Opry. It's a story of history, music, perseverance and attitude; and it's a story more of us should know.