Friday, June 23, 2017

Another way to beat the heat in Pittsburgh: bingsu at Sumi's Cakery.

NextPittsburgh this week published 12 ways to beat the heat this summer. A glaring omission is the multiple bingsu⸺빙수, shaved ice⸺varieties at Sumi's Cakery, the Korean bakery in Squirrel Hill. The best-known kind is patbingsu (팥빙수), a Korean summer dessert made with red beans (pat, 팥), fruit, shaved ice (bingsu, 빙수), and occasionally ice cream. Pictured above, from Sumi's Facebook page, is black sesame shaved ice (흑임자빙수) with almonds and injeolmi (인절미빙수) shaved ice, made with bean powder and topped with almonds.

Sumi's Cakery is located at 2119 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fukumenya / Noodle Uchi to close on June 23 as Sushi Fuku moves in.

Fukumenya, the build-your-own-ramen restaurant on Craig St. in Oakland formerly known as Noodle Uchi, announced on Facebook today that it will close tomorrow, June 23. Its space will be taken by Sushi Fuki, the neighboring restaurant with the same owner.

Noodle Uchi opened in November 2016
at 415 S. Craig St. (map), in what used to be Maximum Flavor Pizza Shop.

Matcha and Sake Tasting at Adda in Shadyside, June 25.

Matcha, by cyclonebill (Creative Commons).

Adda Coffee & Tea House will host a Matcha and Sake Tasting on June 25.
Join us for an afternoon of tasting and discussing two of Japan’s signature beverages. Our own Andrew will be leading a brief Matcha tea demonstration to begin the event.

We are very thankful to the Pittsburgh Japansese Culture Society for coming in to give us a lecture about Sake. We will be learn about the similarities and differences between different sakes and we will have an opportunity to taste 3 different styles of sake.
Adda is located at 200 South Highland Ave. (map).

Chinese food at Forbes and Meyran: Oakland's Bamboo Garden.

Via Dr. Young Suh Kim.

The corner of Forbes and Meyran Aves. in Oakland still doesn't have its noodle place---the Asian Noodle Bar has been "coming soon" since November 2014---but that spot was the home of a long-running Chinese restaurant for more than 50 years. Bamboo Garden occuped 3531 Forbes Ave. from July 22, 1935 to the 1980s and advertised Chow Mein and Chop Suey to appeal to American tastes. According to 2005 a letter published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it was the favorite restaurant of Dr. Jonas Salk.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shaun Tan's The Arrival, Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese topics of Graphic Novel Book Club at Carnegie Library Woods Run, June 29.

The Graphic Novel Book Club at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Woods Run branch will discuss two books on the immigrant experience on June 29: Shaun Tan's Arrival and Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese.

Pittsburgh Taiko four-week beginner workshop, Saturdays starting July 1.

via Pittsburgh Taiko Facebook page.

Pittsburgh Taiko, a local Japanese drumming group, will host a four-week beginner workshop starting July 1.
Over the course of the workshop, you will learn basic movements and techniques used to play taiko.

Drumsticks will be provided, as will earplugs (although you’re welcome to bring your own if you have some).
The workshop meets the first four Saturdays of the month---July 1, 8, 15, 22---at Winchester Thurston School's Upper School building in Shadyside (map). The cost of the workshop is $20 for Japan-America Society of Pittsburgh members, $25 for students 9th grade and above, and $40 for others. More information is available on the Pittsburgh Taiko website.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hayao Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ) at Cinemark theaters around Pittsburgh, June 25 and 26.

The Hayao Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ) and Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便) will play at Cinemark theaters in western Pennsylvania next week, the first installment of this year's GKIDS Studio Ghibli Fest 2017. From a 2001 Roger Ebert review:
Miyazaki's films are above all visually enchanting, using a watercolor look for the backgrounds and working within the distinctive Japanese anime tradition of characters with big round eyes and mouths that can be as small as a dot or as big as a cavern. They also have an unforced realism in the way they notice details; early in ''Totoro,'' for example, the children look at a little waterfall near their home, and there on the bottom, unremarked, is a bottle someone threw into the stream.

The movie tells the story of two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe. As the story opens, their father is driving them to their new house, near a vast forest. Their mother, who is sick, has been moved to a hospital in this district. Now think about that. The film is about two girls, not two boys or a boy and a girl, as all American animated films would be. It has a strong and loving father, in contrast to the recent Hollywood fondness for bad or absent fathers. Their mother is ill; does illness exist in American animation?
An English-dubbed version will play at 12:55 pm on June 25 at Cinemark theaters in Monaca, Monroeville, North Hills, and Pittsburgh Mills, while the English-subtitled version will play at those theaters at 7:00 pm on June 26. Tickets are currently available online.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Storytime: Japanese and English" at Carnegie Library in East Liberty, June 20.

The next installment of the monthly program "Storytime: Japanese and English" will take place on June 20 at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty.
Celebrate our city’s diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Japanese for children and their parents or caregivers. For children age birth-5 and their caregivers.
It runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am. The library is located at 130 S. Whitfield St. (map).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie: The Girl Who Calls the Stars (劇場版 魔法科高校の劣等生 星を呼ぶ少女) at Hollywood Theater, July 29.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the Japanese animated movie The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie: The Girl Who Calls the Stars (劇場版 魔法科高校の劣等生 星を呼ぶ少女) on July 29.

Post-Gazette profiles Robert Morris women's basketball recruit Honoka Ikematsu, first Japanese player in program history.

via @rmuwbasketball.

Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette features a profile of Honoka Ikematsu, an 18-year-old Japanese woman who is among the latest recruits to the Robert Morris University women's basketball team.
In Honoka Ikematsu, a native of Kumamoto, Japan, [assistant coach Asami] Morita found a player who wanted to compete at a college program in the United States. She also found a player whose skills could transfer across the Pacific Ocean.

Of the numerous differences between Japanese and American women’s basketball, the most significant are the shooting styles. Japanese women’s basketball guards shoot with two hands, similar to a set shot, with a slow release. It’s often accurate, Buscaglia said, but would be easily defended in an American basketball game.

“A lot of players that you would bring over here, you would have to re-teach them how to shoot or you would have to live with the way they shoot the ball,” Buscaglia said.

Concerns of Ikematsu’s ability to learn the American shooting style — using one hand as a guide, and a second hand to push the ball — were eased when they saw film of her scrimmaging with Seattle-based AAU program Emerald City Basketball Academy. Ikematsu already had the American shooting form mastered.
Ikematsu, who signed with Robert Morris on May 18, is the first Japanese player in that program's history.