After learning about the death of his mentor on Facebook, Yoshi walks 8,800 miles to connect with her family and friends. But along his journey Yoshi discovers the courage to look inward and rectify his own past.
Yoshi: Wake Up With Me is a feature documentary about one man’s journey to find solace in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. In 2013, Japanese artist Yoshi learned of his mentor Rebecca’s death on Facebook. The cold matter-of-fact nature of the announcement on social media altered something inside of him and he felt compelled to do something with unique purpose. As Yoshi thought over what kind of grand gesture to make, he walked. Yoshi walked what he called “the circle of life” – the circle Rebecca created in her own life – connecting with her family and friends on foot and learning about her from each of them.
Yoshi’s journey does not start well. He must cover at least 40 miles a day in order to reach California from New York for Rebecca’s memorial service. The miles take a great toll on Yoshi mentally and physically, but each time he is ready to give up something happens to inspire and encourage him to continue his journey all the way to California.
At Rebecca’s grave, Yoshi decides to continue his walk with part of Rebecca’s ashes to a place she always wanted to visit: Japan. During Yoshi’s nearly 5,000 miles across Japan he is reminded of his past, his troubled childhood and his severed relationship with his family and friends. Over the course of his great journey, we soon discover the reason behind Yoshi’s desire to connect people using a simple tool: smiles.
Yoshi: Wake Up With Me is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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