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Living on Tokyo Time (1987)

When her visa expires, a young Japanese immigrant in San Francisco agrees to marry a Japanese-American boy to avoid being deported back to Japan.


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Credited cast:
Minako Ohashi ...
Ken Nakagawa ...
Mitzi Abe ...
Bill Bonham ...
Brenda Aoki ...
Kate Connell ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshi Akuhara ...
Businessman #2
Keith Choy ...
James Cranna ...
Jimbo (as Jim Cranna)
John Cruz ...
Richard Enos ...
Bass Player
Alex Herschlag ...
Woman in Cafe #2
Jim Hirabayashi ...
Nisei Man


When her visa expires, a young Japanese immigrant in San Francisco agrees to marry a Japanese-American boy to avoid being deported back to Japan.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She came to America and found the three R's: Romance, Rejection, Rock 'n Roll


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

14 August 1987 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$285,146 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The black and white picture of the woman on the bookshelf of records where Kyoto is listening to music is that of singer Grace Slick, singer for Jefferson Airplane. See more »


Woman in Cafe #2: Did you ever think that maybe you should find yourself a nice Japanese boy?
Woman in Cafe: Where? There aren't any.
See more »


References Real People (1979) See more »


By Moebius and Plank
Courtesy of Sky Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Starts out a bit slow, but if you stay with it, it delivers some laughs and drama
29 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked Kiyoko (Minako Ohashi) right off the bat as we see her talk about her disappointment with an arranged marriage in Japan, and so she came to America to have an "independent American experience." She gets a job as a kitchen helper and tries to learn English by herself in the evening. She talks about what she wants to do in America such as visit Yosemite and see the Golden Gate Bridge. However, she has difficulties expressing herself in English. A few minutes later, we meet Ken (Ken Nakagawa), a Japanese-American man, who has a dead end job and dreams about being a rock n' roll star. We meet him as his girl friend is walking out on him because he's boring. Ken sits there, stares blankly, and eating his Cheerios while she dumps him. Maybe he should have had his Wheaties that morning. We see Ken is very American with his liking for donuts and disliking manju or Japanese pastry in a cafe scene. The story builds slowly, but Kiyoko and Ken meet and they end up getting married in a marriage of convenience, so she can stay in America. The rest shows us Kiyoko's friends at work and Ken's friends in his band, maintenance worker job, and his dad and sister's family. There are some good supporting characters and there is some good humor as they give their opinions to both Kiyoko and Ken about each other. Lana (Kate Connell) arranges for the two to meet and likes Ken even though he doesn't talk much. On the other hand, Shari (Judi Nihei) belittles Ken as boring. The payoff is watching Ken change from being boring with his mundane life to someone who starts to care about Kiyoko and would like for their marriage to succeed. Kiyoko doesn't have the same thinking and expresses herself in Japanese, but Ken does not understand. There are some lighthearted comedic moments, and the film succeeds in expressing the relationship between Kiyoko and Ken and what obstacles they must overcome for a real relationship to blossom.

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