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Michiko Johnson looks Asian. She says she's black. A hip-hop head, soul sistah who greases on greens and cornbread, Michiko is outspoken about her African roots. She adores her younger sister, April, whose physical features are more African than hers. But April speaks fluent Japanese and eats only vegan meals with chopsticks.

Their Japanese mother, Junko, emigrated to the U.S. when she married an African American soldier. Now, Junko's mother, Kazuko, who came to live with her daughter when she divorced, lies near death.

Michiko is summoned home to San Francisco from her Los Angeles love pad leaving behind her Rastafarian musician boyfriend and a host of bad habits. Alone with her sick grandmother, Michiko is about to receive the most shocking news of her life. Meanwhile, April--a rigid corporate attorney--is dealing with some trauma of her own, the discovery that she's pregnant by her married lover.

Told against the backdrop of the rising rap music scene of the early 1980's, Watermelon Sushi plans to feature old school rappers like Chuck D, Kool Mo Dee, LL Cool J, Afrika Bambaataa and newcomers like Japan's superstar enka singer, Jero-san.

Chuck D in Santa Monica, Kool Mo Dee in Culver City, LL Cool J in Beverly Hills, Afrika Bambaataa with DJ Yutaka--Watermelon Sushi trailer composer (photo courtesy of Sean-Jin), and Jero-san in San Francisco.

film strip with photos of rappers

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