A Japanese reality TV show was being filmed right here in the Southeast last week. 

Marjorie Ammerman says the reality show, called “Made in Japan”, followed her 7 and 5-year-old granddaughters as they travelled from Japan to Steinbach to meet their grandparents. She notes they travelled without their parents but were accompanied by a film crew. 

“They were filmed on the plane, they were filmed in Toronto, they went to a zoo, they were on a bus in Winnipeg. My son had to create a map to how to get to our place from Japan. The kids follow the map [with help]. The last page of the map has a picture of me, a picture of the house and then directions from the streets that are nearby. They had to find our house and then ring the doorbell.” 

Ammerman says she had actually never met these two grandkids face to face as they were born and raised in Japan. 

“I was supposed go in March of 2020, I was supposed to be there for my birthday but because of COVID, everything was cancelled, that was my opportunity to go meet these young ladies but I never had the chance until now.” 

Upon arrival, Ammerman says they spent two days together in Steinbach while the film crew captured the whole experience. 

“We have received many gifts and with the gift there is always a story to go with it or some direction as to how it is used. We made a dinner that my son prearranged for me to cook and there were different tools that were used to make this dinner. The gifts were presented by my granddaughters and they actually helped prepare supper using these tools.” 

Ammerman notes it has been an enjoyable experience, but it's also a very weird way to meet her grandkids for the first time. 

“It is a reality show for sure. Some of the shots had to be redone which is interesting because of the girls not saying what they are supposed to me not being excited enough, it is hard to know! There are two cameramen and a director and they do not speak English, they only speak Japanese and then there is another woman who does the translating.”   

The whole thing wrapped up on Thursday with her son arriving from Japan to join them for the final stint of filming. 

As far as Ammerman knows, ‘Made in Japan' is a show that airs around the new year and it documents a number of journeys similar to this one. She notes it usually focuses on kids who are half Japanese who then travel to visit family in another country and experience the culture. 

The show will be released in Japan on January 6th.