Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Hong Kong movie Ip Man 3 (葉問3) at Hollywood Theater, from January 22.



The 2015 movie Ip Man 3 (葉問3) will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont from January 22. The South China Morning Post has a review and summary of the third instsallment of the biographical trilogy starring Donnie Yen:
Played by Yen with an effective blend of deadpan delivery and formidable combat skills, Ip Man has been portrayed in the series as a family man from Foshan in southern China who involuntarily gets sucked into epic battles. Having defied Japanese occupiers in Ip Man, set in the 1930s, and restored Chinese pride against British colonisers in Ip Man 2, set in 1949 Hong Kong, this long-awaited sequel finds the legend in a relatively peaceful period in 1959 Hong Kong.

Still, the stability of Ip’s low-profile life is temporarily disrupted when local thugs – led by the henchman (Patrick Tam Yiu-man) of corrupt American businessman Frank (Mike Tyson) – are sent to vandalise the primary school his young son attends. Ip puts his prowess to pragmatic use when he volunteers to stand guard with his protégés in the absence of police protection. There he befriends Cheung Tin-chi (Max Zhang Jin), a fellow parent and wing chun exponent who aspires to Ip’s accomplishments.
The movie was released in Hong Kong on December 24, and will play at the Hollywood Theater from January 22 to 27. Showtimes and ticket information are available online via the theater's website. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pitt's Confucius Institute named among 2015 Confucius Institutes of the Year.

The University of Pittsburgh's Confucius Institute was named one of the 20 Confucius Institutes of the Year in 2015 at the 10th Confucius Institute Conference in Shanghai on December 5 and 6. It received the same honor in 2008, 2011, and 2013, and is one of five United States Institutes to receive the honor this year. An excerpt of the award text:
In 2015, the Confucius Institute hosted over 30 cultural events of various kinds, attracting more than a total of 37,000 participants. Among the "Confucius Institute Day" events, the Institute successfully held the '1st Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival". This was in cooperation with fifteen local Chinese science and technology, language education, fok art and business organizations. This June, Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, visited the Confucius Institute at University of Pittsburgh, where she highly appreciated the Institute's achievements in teaching and used the expression "Only One" to describe its excellence.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Chinese movie Mr. Six (老炮儿) in Pittsburgh, from December 24.



The 2015 Chinese movie Mr. Six (老炮儿) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from December 24. The introduction of a September Variety review provides some background:
“Kids these days,” sighs the lead character in “Mr. Six,” sounding like the grizzled hero in a late-career Clint Eastwood movie. Now well into his fifties, the neighborhood peacekeeper — played with stoical cool by China’s most popular film director, Feng Xiaogang — realizes just how little Beijing’s younger generation respects the old ways after confronting the gangsters who snatched his son. Constructed as the long, inward-gazing buildup to an epic showdown on a frozen lake, Guan Hu’s genre-subverting drama could just as easily be an elegy for a disappearing style of filmmaking — one that acknowledges the country’s obsession with flashy, street-racing culture, while determined to make a more substantive impact on a box office dominated by “Furious 7.”
The theater is also currently screening the 2015 Chinese movies Mojin - The Lost Legend (鬼吹灯之寻龙诀) and Surprise - Journey to the West (万万没想到:西游篇).

Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Surprise - Journey to the West (万万没想到:西游篇) currently at AMC Waterfront.



The 2015 Chinese comedy Surprise - Journey to the West (万万没想到:西游篇) is currently playing at AMC Loews Waterfront. A plot summary, from the official site:
Surprise follows the day-to-day misadventures of a character called Dachui Wang as he navigates though various modern and classic situations.

The little monster Wang Dachui, who was born with sharp ears & simple magic, made him different from the ordinaries. The local monster king, he thought he was. But to his surprise, on the one hand, his fate has changed since the encounter with Tang Monk, Monkey King, Piggy & Sand Monk. On the other hand, the meeting with Wang Dachui also should have been the great 82nd disaster to the four.
The movie was released in the US on December 18, and Pittsburgh is one of 17 cities in the country to carry it. The theater is also currently screening the 2015 Chinese movie Mojin - The Lost Legend (鬼吹灯之寻龙诀).

Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Regional cuisine of Northwest China, tea, and Sexy Beijing in two "A Very Jewish Christmas" dinner parties in Shadyside, December 24 and 25.



Shadyside's Leaf & Plate is hosting two "A Very Jewish Christmas" dinner parties on December 24 and 25.
Drink tea, eat regional cuisine from Northwest China, and watch a TV show hosted by American expats in China, discovering unknown Jewish communities in Beijing!
The event is $40, and the menu is listed in the flyer above. Those interested in going should register and pre-order by emailing leafandplate at gmail.com.

Leaf & Plate is a tea house and restaurant that opened a few months ago at 5884 Ellsworth Ave. (map), and is run by the organizer behind the local Northwest Chinese Restaurant Pop-Up events.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lunar New Year celebration in Squirrel Hill, February 6 - 21.


Via Uncover Squirrel Hill.

Squirrel Hill will host a two-week-long Lunar New Year celebration from February 6 through 21. A brief summary from NextGen:Pgh:
We are planning to host Pittsburgh's largest Chinese new year parade in the heart of its most socio-economically diverse neighborhood - Squirrel Hill. Dragons, drums, fireworks, and fun! ... and plenty of dumplings - and pierogis! - too :)
More details to follow as Lunar New Year gets closer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Chinese movie Mojin - The Lost Legend (鬼吹灯之寻龙诀) in Pittsburgh from December 18.



The 2015 Chinese movie Mojin - The Lost Legend (鬼吹灯之寻龙诀) will play at the AMC Loews Waterfront theater from December 18. AMC Loews provides a summary of the movie starring Chen Kun, Huang Bo, Shu Qi, and Angelbaby:
Based on the #1 Best-Selling Treasure Hunting Novel in China, MOJIN - THE LOST LEGEND brings to the screen an epic fantasy adventure about a trio of legendary grave robbers, the Mojin, who are enjoying the retired civilian life hawking goods on the mean streets of New York City, until they are propositioned by a shadowy and mysterious client. They accept the job and return to their roots, raiding the secrets and treasures of ancient tombs in China under the guise of an archaeology study. As each hidden passage is unearthed, it triggers extraordinary challenges that put their friendship, loyalty and life to the ultimate test. In the vein of blockbusters such as Indiana Jones, The Mummy and National Treasure,MOJIN - THE LOST LEGEND will take you on a wild journey from the streets of New York to the mysterious dungeons and treasures of the deep abyss.
The film will be released in China and the US on the 18th. Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Mojin - The Lost Legend is the next in a series of new Chinese-language films that have played in Pittsburgh in 2015, in a city where new Asian releases were never seen just a few years ago. The list of this year's Chinese-language releases in Pittsburgh is comprised of:
* Somewhere Only We Know (有一个地方只有我们知道) in February
* Let's Get Married (咱们结婚吧) in April
* Saving Mr. Wu (解救吾先生), Lost in Hong Kong (港囧), Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) and The Witness (我是证人) in October
* Our Times (我的少女時代) and The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) in November
* Fall in Love Like a Star (怦然星动) in December.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hayao Miyazaki film series at Row House Cinema, December 11 - 17.



The Row House Cinema will show My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ), Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫), and Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し) as part of a Hayao Miyazaki film series from December 11 to 17. Showtimes are now available online, and three of the four movies---My Neighbor Totoro not included---will have "Kids Will Be Kids" screenings where a younger and more-rambunctious crowd may be expected.

The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).

Meet and greet with visiting Chinese artists at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, December 10.



The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild is hosting visiting ceramic artists from China and will hold a meet and greet on December 10. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at 1815 Metropolitan Street on the Northside (map), and is free and open to the public.

"Ask Xing Chinese", "Chinese Storytime" at Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill on December 14.

The Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill will host "Ask Xing Chinese" again on Monday, December 14.
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Xing has returned for another season to present beginner level Chinese instructions at the Squirrel Hill Library! Class will be held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from 6:30PM -7:45PM.
Also on the 14th, the Squirrel Hill library will host the monthly "Storytime: Chinese and English" program from 1:30 to 2:00 pm in the Children's Room.
Celebrate the city's diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Chinese. For children birth--5 years and their parents or caregivers.
The library is located at 5801 Forbes Ave. (map) and is accessible by buses 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 64, and 74.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Event at Maridon Museum, December 10.



The Maridon Museum will host a Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Event with Jae Brown on Thursday, December 10. Furoshiki is "a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods." Guests are requested to bring a gift no larger than a shirt box to wrap; scarves will be provided. The event starts at 6:30 pm and the cost is $10. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the museum at 724-282-0123.

The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St. in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Taiwanese restaurant coming to old laundromat in Squirrel Hill.



When I had an apartment in Squirrel Hill a few years ago I would have to visit the Shady Avenue Coin Laundry several times a week. It was in the gray building behind the Starbucks on the corner of Forbes and Shady Aves., and was best known for being a complete dump. A third of the machines would be out of order or too filthy to use; the drop ceiling was stained and missing tiles; the faucets were either broken or spewing out water onto the floor; and the walls were obscured by broken and gutted vending machines. Once I walked in on a photographer at work who had chosen the location because he needed a decrepit setting for a photo shoot.

Anyway, construction started recently on the Taiwanese restaurant that will move into that space at 1711 Shady Ave (map), which was purchased earlier in the year by the same people putting in Hi Sound KTV around the corner. Details are sparse, but the owner is a former chef at the Rose Tea Cafe around the corner.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Chinese movie Fall in Love Like a Star (怦然星动) in Pittsburgh from December 4.



The Chinese movie Fall in Love Like a Star (怦然星动) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from December 4. A summary, from China Radio International:
Starring China's hottest young actor Li Yifeng and actress Yang Mi, the movie seeks to bring into focus the delicate relationship between celebrities and their agents.

The movie's story revolves around the secretive love between an aspiring actor played by Li and his agent played by Yang in an industry that encourages young actors to remain single in the public eye for fear of losing fans, especially female fans. After a series of misunderstandings and misfortunes, the lovers finally go public.
The movie will be released in China on December 3. Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

The World of Kanako (渇き) at Parkway Theater, from December 4.



The Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks will show the 2014 Japanese movie The World of Kanako (渇き) from December 4. A Village Voice review writes of it:
The first thing you'll notice about blood-soaked neo-noir The World of Kanako is its hyper but never manic pacing. Most shots last about two seconds, lending a disorienting rhythm to the exhausting gamut of stomach-churning violence that ex-cop Akikazu (Koji Yakusho) exposes himself to during his search for missing daughter Kanako (Nana Komatsu).
There are four showings: December 4 at 9:00 pm, and December 6, 7, and 9 at 7:00 pm. The theater is located at 644 Broadway Ave. in McKees Rocks (map), a few miles west of the North Side.
Random find at Dollar Spree in Greenfield: Chinese Tide (汰渍).

Monday, November 30, 2015

Arumjigi with pictures of the finished 한국문화실 at the University of Pittsburgh.



Design consultants Arumjigi (아름지기) have published photos of the new Korean Heritage Classroom in the University of Pittsburgh that opened in the Cathedral of Learning on November 15. Arumjigi selected the architects who transformed room 304 from an ordinary classroom to one with an appearance inspired by a 15th-century Korean university lecture hall. The Pitt Chronicle had a lengthy write-up of the room prior to the unveiling earlier in the month.

Japan America Society of Pennsylvania's "Japanese-English Reading Circle", December 5 in Shadyside.



The Japan America Society of Pennsylvania will host its next "Japanese-English Reading Circle" in Shadyside on December 5. An overview, from the event's Facebook page:

Japanese Tea Ceremony at Carnegie Library downtown, December 12.

The downtown branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host a Japanese Tea Ceremony with Yuko Eguchi Wright on Saturday, December 12:
Tea ceremony, or Chado (The Way of Tea), is a traditional Japanese art involving ritualistic preparation of tea. Influenced by Zen Buddhism philosophy, the core teaching of chado is to attain a spiritual state of selflessness and peacefulness through making and sharing one bowl of tea.

Learn the history and philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony while tasting Japanese tea and sweets.
The library is located at 612 Smithfield St. (map). The event runs from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, and is free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Salon Reading: Chen Guangcheng" at City of Asylum, December 1.


Chen in Pittsburgh, from a 2013 Sampsonia Way article.

The City of Asylum---which "provide[s] sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that they can continue to write and their voices are not silenced---will host an evening with Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) on December 1.
Chen Guangcheng, known to many as “the barefoot lawyer,” was born in 1971 in the village of Dongshigu, China. Blind since infancy, illiterate until his late teens, he nonetheless taught himself law and became a fiery advocate for tens of thousands of Chinese who had no voice. His escape from inhuman house arrest in China made international headlines, as did his flight to the American embassy in Beijing. In 2012 he became a student at New York University Law School; since 2013 he has been a senior research fellow at Catholic University, the Witherspoon Institute, and the Lantos Foundation. He now lives with his wife and two children in the Washington, D.C., area.
The event runs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and is free and open to the public. RSVP is required and can be done online. The City of Asylum is located at 330 Sampsonia Way on Pittsburgh's Northside (map).

Friday, November 27, 2015

Hong Kong films The Killer (喋血雙雄), Fallen Angels (墮落天使), at Row House Cinema, December 4 - 10.



The Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will show two classic Hong Kong films in a "France vs Hong Kong New Wave" series from December 4th through 10th. The series will include The Killer (喋血雙雄) and Fallen Angels (墮落天使), in addition to two French films.

A 1991 New York Times review provides a summary of the 1989 John Woo film The Killer:
Set in contemporary Hong Kong, "The Killer" tells the story of Jeff Chow, a hired gun with a heart of gold who falls in love with a nightclub singer named Jennie, whom he has accidentally blinded during a shoot out. Determined to make enough money to give up his violent ways and pay for the cornea transplants that could restore Jennie's sight, Jeff accepts one final deadly assignment. Having completed the assassination, he speeds off from the scene of a crime in a spectacular motorboat chase with the police.

The chase is the first move in an extended game of cat and mouse with his pursuer, Inspector Lee, who eventually becomes his ally when the two of them face down the entire Hong Kong underworld in an apocalyptic shootout.
And a 1998 Roger Ebert review says of the 1995 Wong Kar-Wai film Fallen Angels:
To describe the plot is to miss the point. "Fallen Angels" takes the materials of the plot--the characters and what they do--and assembles them like a photo montage. At the end, you have impressions, not conclusions. His influences aren't other filmmakers, but still photographers and video artists--the kinds of artists who do to images what rap artists are doing to music when they move the vinyl back and forth under the needle.

The people in his films are not characters but ingredients, or subjects. They include a hit man and his female "manager," who share separate dayparts in a hotel room that seems only precariously separate from the train tracks outside. (She scrubs the place down before her shift, kneeling on the floor in her leather minidress and mesh stockings.) There is also a man who stopped speaking after eating a can of outdated pineapple slices (pineapple sell-by dates were also a theme in "Chungking Express"). He makes a living by "reopening" stores that are closed for the night, and has an uncertain relationship with a young woman who acts out her emotions theatrically. There is another woman wandering about in a blond wig, for no better purpose, I suspect, than that "Chungking Express" also contained such a character.

Show times and ticket information is now available at the Row House Cinema website. The theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).

"Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language [TCFL] and Technology" at Pitt, December 4.



The University of Pittsburgh School of Education will host the third and final session in its three-part Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop on Friday, December 4. Titled "TCFL and Technology", it is presented by Visiting Scholar in the School of Education Fang Lu and runs from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in 1500 Posvar Hall (map).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Signage up for new Squirrel Hill Asian-style karaoke, Hi Sound KTV.



Signage went up recently at 6316 Forbes Ave. (map) for Hi Sound KTV, an Asian-style karaoke/noraebang/ktv coming soon to Squirrel Hill. We first wrote about it in July 2015, when construction started on what was then called C & Z Ktv.



The area's first Asian-style karaoke place, K-Box, opened on South Craig St. in Oakland in September 2012. A few Korean restaurants in the area have karaoke, but do not offer the small, private rooms ubiquitous throughout East Asia.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday BUBBLEPOP dance party in Lawrenceville, November 27.



The next BUBBLEPOP dance party will be on Black Friday, November 27, at Cattivo in Lawrenceville.
Playing pop from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Euro and 'Merica:
DJ DivaCup
DJ QueenBee (welcome her back from Taiwan!)
DJ Niubi
...and special guest Tommy Yoo!

As always, DRESS UP if that's your thing! Take us to kawaii outer space ㅇㅅㅇ
As the group's Facebook page says,
BUBBLEPOP is a dance party for K-Pop, J-Pop, Mando-pop and everything else fun and cute
Cattivo is located at 116 44th Street in Lawrenceville (map). The event starts at 10:00 pm and is free.

2015 film The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) in Pittsburgh, from November 27.



The 2015 film The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) will play at the Harris Theater from November 27. The Taiwan-China-Hong Kong co-production by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien stars Chinese actress Shu Qi and is Taiwan's entry for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2016 Academy Awards; a summary, from an October A.V. Club review:
Enigmatic and often mesmerizing, super-saturated with color, drawn like a still plain ripped by brief, unexpected gusts of wind—The Assassin is one of the most flat-out beautiful movies of the last decade, and also one of the most puzzling. Returning to features after a prolonged absence, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien has made a martial-arts period piece like none other, keeping to the classic principles and conventions of wuxia—the storied Chinese genre of wandering warriors and codes of honor—while casting them in a mysterious light. Bold takes on popular genres generally set out to de-mystify, but Hou has accomplished the opposite. Washing away centuries of film and fiction, he envisions a tale from the Tang dynasty—about a deadly martial artist who must kill the man to whom she was once betrothed—as a window into the haunted otherworld of the mythic past.

Perhaps the most confounding thing about The Assassin is how much of a straightforward wuxia movie it is, at least in retrospect. Raised since girlhood to be a remorseless killer of corrupt lords and court officials, Nie Yinniang (Hou regular Shu Qi) spares a target on account of his young son, and is punished with an assignment that’s meant to wipe away whatever speck of compassion she has left: to kill Tian Ji’an (Chang Chen), the cousin to whom she was promised in marriage as a child, and who is now the governor of Weibo. It’s a given that Yinniang—largely silent and nearly invisible, despite her stomping gait—can strike at any moment; the question that shadows every scene is why she doesn’t. She is there behind every curtain in Tian’s palace and on every rafter, listening, hanging like smoke, materializing only to disappear again—the passive hero as threat.
Showtimes are now available online, with Friday's showings set for 5:45 pm and 8:00 pm. The Harris Theater is located at 809 Liberty Ave. in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District (map).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Taiwanese movie Our TImes (我的少女時代) in Pittsburgh from November 20.



The 2015 Taiwanese movie Our Times (我的少女時代) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from November 20. A summary from a South China Morning Post review:
When the adult Truly Lin (Joe Chen Chiau-en) feels increasingly disheartened with her unrewarding office job, memories of her high-school years – during which her teenage self had fallen into the latter of what she terms the “popular” and “not pretty” camps before a belated makeover – flood her mind.

Back in the 1990s, the young Truly (Vivian Sung Yu-hua, star of the film adaptation of another Ko novel, Café. Waiting. Love) is initially smitten with handsome schoolmate Ouyang (Dino Lee Yu-hsi), but a zany run-in with the campus hoodlum Hsu Taiyu (Darren Wang Da-lu) dramatically changes the equation.

In the excessively saccharine will-they-won’t-they affair that ensues, Taiyu and Truly go out regularly on the pretext that they’re helping each other court their respective crushes. Plot twists: Taiyu used to be a wonderful student before a traumatic incident; Truly turns out to be a hottie.
Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Monday, November 16, 2015

2015 film The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) in Pittsburgh, from November 27.



The 2015 film The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) will play at the Harris Theater from November 27. The Taiwan-China-Hong Kong co-production by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien stars Chinese actress Shu Qi; a summary, from an October A.V. Club review:
Enigmatic and often mesmerizing, super-saturated with color, drawn like a still plain ripped by brief, unexpected gusts of wind—The Assassin is one of the most flat-out beautiful movies of the last decade, and also one of the most puzzling. Returning to features after a prolonged absence, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien has made a martial-arts period piece like none other, keeping to the classic principles and conventions of wuxia—the storied Chinese genre of wandering warriors and codes of honor—while casting them in a mysterious light. Bold takes on popular genres generally set out to de-mystify, but Hou has accomplished the opposite. Washing away centuries of film and fiction, he envisions a tale from the Tang dynasty—about a deadly martial artist who must kill the man to whom she was once betrothed—as a window into the haunted otherworld of the mythic past.

Perhaps the most confounding thing about The Assassin is how much of a straightforward wuxia movie it is, at least in retrospect. Raised since girlhood to be a remorseless killer of corrupt lords and court officials, Nie Yinniang (Hou regular Shu Qi) spares a target on account of his young son, and is punished with an assignment that’s meant to wipe away whatever speck of compassion she has left: to kill Tian Ji’an (Chang Chen), the cousin to whom she was promised in marriage as a child, and who is now the governor of Weibo. It’s a given that Yinniang—largely silent and nearly invisible, despite her stomping gait—can strike at any moment; the question that shadows every scene is why she doesn’t. She is there behind every curtain in Tian’s palace and on every rafter, listening, hanging like smoke, materializing only to disappear again—the passive hero as threat.
Showtimes have not yet been released. The Harris Theater is located at 809 Liberty Ave. in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District (map).

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In a piece reminding readers of the Korean Heritage Classroom dedication ceremony on Sunday, November 15 at the University of Pittsburgh, today's University Times has a few new photos of the room.

Northwestern Chinese food tasting in Shadyside, November 13.

The organizers of the Northwest Chinese Popup Restaurant events will host a food-tasting event on Friday, November 13, at Leaf and Plate in Shadyside. Organizer Shanning Wan passes along information and a menu:
For $10, customers can choose a baked bun, a sandwich and a salad(from the following list). Also appetizers and entreess are a la carte. It's a BYOB event.

BUNS/BAOZI
Baked Lamb Bun 羊肉烤包子 $4
lamb, onions, ginger, cumin with spicy sauce

Baked Beef Bun 薄皮包子 $3.5

cumin, carrots, onion, beef with spicy sauce

Steamed Vegan Bun 素烤包子 $3
bell pepper, zucchini, potato with spicy sauce


SANDWICH
(baked or steamed bread)
Cumin Lamb Sandwich 孜然羊肉夹馍 $4.5

lamb, cumin, green pepper, onion
Peanut Beef Sandwich 花生牛肉夹馍 $4

beef, green bean, carrot, tofu, peanut

Soy Sauce Pork Sandwich 红烧肉夹馍 $3.75

pork, soy sauce, green onion, traditional Chinese spice

Vegan Sandwich 素夹馍 $3.5

potato, red pepper, spinach, tofu strings

SALAD
(with homemade dressing)
Pi La Hong Salad 皮拉红 $5

green pepper, celery, tomato, onion, chickpea
Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜 $4.5

cucumber, crushed peanut, spicy garlic dressing
Buckwheat Salad 甘肃凉菜 $5.5

buckwheat noodle, carrot, celery, red and green pepper
Mu Er Salad 黑木耳凉菜 $6

black wood ear mushroom, carrot, yuba(layered dried tofu)
Leaf and Plate recently opened at 5884 Ellsworth Ave. in Shadyside (map). The event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

"The Pleasure of Mourning: Korean War Blockbusters in Post-Cold War South Korea" at Pitt, November 19.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will present We Jung Yi and her talk "The Pleasure of Mourning: Korean War Blockbusters in Post-Cold War South Korea" as the next installment of its Asia on Screen series on November 19.
WE JUNG YI is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book manuscript, entitled Remembering the Unfinished War: Literature, Film, and the Politics of Mourning in South Korea, engages with the cultural turn in Korean literary studies by tracing historical and aesthetic connections among diverse forms of Korean War memories. She is the author of “Between Longing and Belonging: Diasporic Return in Contemporary South Korean Cinema,” collected in Cinematic Homecomings: Exile and Return in Transnational Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2014).
And a description from the Pitt International Week website:
We Jung Yi's talk traces the ways in which the Korean War blockbuster has emerged as a form of remembering the unfinished war on the Korean peninsula, in tandem with neoliberal globalization in South Korea. She will review three Korean War blockbusters as works of mourning in transition and translation: Joint Security Area, Taegukgi, and Welcome to Dongmakgol. Her analysis focuses on how their spectacle-charged forms affectively move their audiences to engage with the traumatic legacy of their nation.
The talk begins at 3:00 in 4130 Posvar Hall (map), and is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory and Identity in Japan" at Pitt, November 18.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will present Akiko Hashimoto, Professor Emerita of Sociology, and her talk "The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory and Identity in Japan" on November 18. A description, from the Pitt International Week website:
In this talk, Dr. Akiko Hashimoto explores the stakes of war memory in Japan after its catastrophic defeat in World War II, showing how and why defeat has become an indelible part of national collective life, especially in recent decades. Divisive war memories lie at the root of the contentious politics surrounding Japan's pacifist constitution and remilitarization, and fuel the escalating frictions in East Asia known collectively as Japan's 'history problem.' Admission is free and open to the public with particular interest for Japan Studies, History, and Sociology majors. Pizza will be served.
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map).

"Storytime: Japanese and English" at Carnegie Library in East Liberty, November 17.

The next installment of the monthly program "Storytime: Japanese and English" will take place on November 17 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 ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers.
It runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am. The library is located at 130 S. Whitfield St. (map).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (攻殻機動隊 新劇場版) at Carmike 10 and Hollywood Theater November 10, Southside Works Cinema on November 12.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2015 movie Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (攻殻機動隊 新劇場版) from November 10, as will Carmike 10 at South Hills Village (map), while Southside Works Cinema will show it from November 12. A plot summary, from the official site:
Set in a futuristic Japan after the end of a brutal world war, science has advanced by leaps and bounds giving humanity the choice to prolong life and reduce suffering with the use of sophisticated cybernetics. With all of humanity linked into one system of minds and personalities known as ghosts, the biggest threat to civilization is the cyber terrorists capable of hijacking people’s bodies and memories.

When a ghost-infecting virus known as Fire-Starter begins spreading through the system resulting in the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister, Major Motoko Kusanagi and her elite team of special operatives are called in to track down its source. As they delve deeper and deeper into their investigation, they uncover traces of government corruption and a shadowy broker that bears an all-too-familiar face.

When your target can be anywhere and look like anyone, the only choice you have is to trust your ghost, and hope you aren’t infected too.
Tickets can be purchased online via links from the official website.

Vengeance of an Assassin free at Parkway Theater, November 17.



The 2014 Thai action movie Vengeance of an Assassin will play at the Parkway Theater on November 17 at 7:00 pm. The movie, like the others in the theater's Asian Movie Madness series, is free. The theater is located at 644 Broadway Ave. in McKees Rocks (map), a few miles west of the North Side.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rashomon (羅生門) at Point Park University, November 13.

Rashomon

The Point Park Anime Club and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will present the 1950 Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon (羅生門) at Point Park University on November 13. A synopsis of the film, from a 2002 Roger Ebert review:
The film opens in torrential rain, and five shots move from long shot to closeup to reveal two men sitting in the shelter of Kyoto's Rashomon Gate. The rain will be a useful device, unmistakably setting apart the present from the past. The two men are a priest and a woodcutter, and when a commoner runs in out of the rain and engages them in conversation, he learns that a samurai has been murdered and his wife raped and a local bandit is suspected. In the course of telling the commoner what they know, the woodcutter and the priest will introduce flashbacks in which the bandit, the wife and the woodcutter say what they saw, or think they saw--and then a medium turns up to channel the ghost of the dead samurai. Although the stories are in radical disagreement, it is unlike any of the original participants are lying for their own advantage, since each claims to be the murderer.
The movie starts at 7:00 pm in the JVH Auditorium in Lawrence Hall (map). For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Asian Noodle Bar, coming soon to Oakland since November 2014.

Asian Noodle Bar Pittsburgh 2015
November 6, 2015

The "Asian Noodle Bar" at 3531 Forbes Ave. has been "coming soon" to the old Pittsburgh Pretzel Sandwich Shop location for one year. They did remove the pretzel decals, though.

Golden Dragon Acrobats at Pitt, November 20.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform at the University of Pittsburgh on November 20, part of Pitt's International Week series of events.
The Chinese American Students Association brings the Golden Dragon Acrobats to Bellefield Auditorium for a night of performances. Admission is free for Pitt students (show your Pitt ID) and $10 for non-Pitt students. Students, faculty, and members of the Pittsburgh community alike can all watch amazing contortions, balance acts, and many other impressive feats from this acrobatic troupe from China!
Bellefield Auditorium is located in Bellefield Hall, in turn located on S. Bellefield Ave. in Oakland (map).

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (攻殻機動隊 新劇場版) at Hollywood Theater, from November 10.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2015 movie Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (攻殻機動隊 新劇場版) from November 10. A plot summary, from the official site:
Set in a futuristic Japan after the end of a brutal world war, science has advanced by leaps and bounds giving humanity the choice to prolong life and reduce suffering with the use of sophisticated cybernetics. With all of humanity linked into one system of minds and personalities known as ghosts, the biggest threat to civilization is the cyber terrorists capable of hijacking people’s bodies and memories.

When a ghost-infecting virus known as Fire-Starter begins spreading through the system resulting in the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister, Major Motoko Kusanagi and her elite team of special operatives are called in to track down its source. As they delve deeper and deeper into their investigation, they uncover traces of government corruption and a shadowy broker that bears an all-too-familiar face.

When your target can be anywhere and look like anyone, the only choice you have is to trust your ghost, and hope you aren’t infected too.
The Hollywood Theater is one of several theaters to show the film during its initial limited release in the US on November 10, 11, and 16. The movie was released in Japan on June 20. Showtimes and ticket information is available on the theater's website. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

"Teaching Chinese Characters and Literacy" at Pitt, November 6.



The University of Pittsburgh School of Education will host the second session in its three-part Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop on Friday, November 6. Titled "Teaching Chinese Characters and Literacy", it runs from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in 1500 Posvar Hall (map).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cemetery of Splendor (รักที่ขอนแก่น), Mountains May Depart (山河故人) at 3 Rivers Film Fest from November 7.



The annual 3 Rivers Film Fest includes two Asian movies in 2015: Thailand's Cemetery of Splendour (รักที่ขอนแก่น) and China's Mountains May Depart (山河故人). A summary of 2015's Cemetery of Splendour, from the 3RFF site:
Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including colored light therapy, to ease the men’s troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt’s cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance, and dreams are all part of Jen’s tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.
And of 2015's Mountains May Depart, from a review in The Guardian:
[The] movie is split into three parts, taking place in 1999, in 2014 and in 2025. We begin with a bunch of people dancing to the Pet Shop Boys’ Go West, and as the new century and millennium dawns, the movie shows China more or less obsessed with doing that: going West, embracing capitalism while at the same retaining the monolithic state structures of the past, and beginning to worship consumer goods as status symbols: stereos, cars, and perhaps most importantly mobile phones — a technology which the film shows retaining its fetishistic power for the next quarter-century.
Cemetery of Splendour (รักที่ขอนแก่น) will play at the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland on November 7 at 3:00 pm and November 10 at 8:00 pm. Mountains May Depart (山河故人) will play on November 7 at Waterworks Cinema at 9:00 pm and on November 11 at the Harris Theater at 8:30 pm.

The festival runs from November 6 through November 15 at five theaters around Pittsburgh. Showtimes and ticket information are available at the 3RFF website and at the links in the last paragraph.

CMU Japanese Student Association Culture Month in November, sumo wrestling November 6.



The Carnegie Mellon University Japanese Student Association will host sumo wrestling on November 6, the first event in the JSA's Culture Month.
First we will have a short talk about the history of Sumo in Japan. Then we will have a fun tournament to find CMU's best sumo wrestler. Bring your friends to find the best sumo wrestler in your group!

Join JSA at CMU as we present Culture Month. Each week we will throw at least one event to display the rich and colorful culture of Japan, whether it's through food, performances, or play! Join us as we listen to the powerful taiko, eat hot, delicious okonomiyaki, and watch the delicate Japanese traditional tea ceremony.
The event starts at 4:30 pm in the Connan Room of University Center (campus map).

Bunkasai (文化祭) at Pitt, November 7.



The University of Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Association will host a Bunkasai (文化祭) cultural festival on Saturday, November 7.
Events include performances, games, food, a maid cafe, and more! The festival is expected to last from 2-6 pm. All are welcome!
Bunkasai, says Wikipedia,
is an annual event held by most schools in Japan, from Nursery schools to universities at which their students display their artistic achievements.
The event will take place at the O'Hara Student Center (map) Ballroom from 2:00 pm. More information is available at the event's Facebook page.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Korean Heritage Room dedication ceremony at Pitt, November 15.


Via the Pitt News. For more on the room's development, browse the PennsylAsia archives.

Today's Pitt Chronicle has a lengthy write-up on the Korean Heritage Room in the Cathedral of Learning ahead of the dedication ceremony on November 15.
Speakers at the ceremony will include University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Emeritus Mark A. Nordenberg as well as Ho Young Ahn, South Korea’s ambassador to the United States, and E. Maxine Bruhns, director of Pitt’s Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs. In addition, the Korean Heritage Classroom Committee—a group of local Korean-American citizens who oversaw the classroom’s funding efforts—will present a ceremonial key to Nordenberg. The presentation, lead by Sang C. Park, symbolizes the committee gifting the classroom to the University. Park is cochair of the Korean Heritage Classroom committee and a respected pediatric cardiologist. David Kim, an international business leader and committee cochair, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

The festival will feature performances by local Korean-American talent as well as entertainers from abroad. Notable performers will include the Maryland-based Korean Performing Arts Academy of America, the Korean Pittsburgh Women’s Chorus, the Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do Academy, and the internationally acclaimed Korean Children’s Choir from Seoul, South Korea. Authentic Korean food and crafts will be available, and Pitt’s Quo Vadis Guides—Nationality Room student tour guides with extensive knowledge of each room—will lead tours of the Korean Heritage Classroom.
. . .
The Korean Heritage Classroom’s design was inspired by the “Myeongnyundang”—the Hall of Enlightenment that was the main lecture hall of South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University. Founded in 1398, Sungkyunkwan served as Korea’s “royal academy” and was the region’s foremost institution of higher education for nearly two centuries. The university still operates today (with modernized facilities), and the lecture hall continues to be used for special ceremonial events. It is recognized throughout Asia as a prominent historical monument.

Like the Hall of Enlightenment, the Korean Heritage Classroom depicts three connected rooms. The center room is longer with a lofty ceiling. Sungkyunkwan officials used the center room for ceremonies, lectures, rituals, and other important public events. The two smaller adjoining rooms were used for faculty research and private meetings.
As the article says, the day's events begin with a dedication ceremony in Heinz Chapel at 2:30, followed by a Korean cultural festival in the Commons Room (first floor of the Cathedral of Learning) at 3:30 and accompanied by tours of the room all day on the 15th. The Cathedral of Learning is a 42-story building located at 4200 Fifth Ave. (map) in Oakland.

Combined JASP Japanese Language Exchange and Japanese-English Reading Circle group meeting, November 7 in Shadyside.



The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will host a combined meeting of its Japanese Language Exchange and Japanese-English Reading Circle groups on Saturday, November 7, in Shadyside.
If you want to improve your Japanese language skills AND reading skills in the same area, you are most welcome to join us. This is a great chance to meet with Japanese residents of Pittsburgh and talk/read with your peers so that everyone can learn something new. Refreshments will be provided, as well as reading materials at every level will be provided
The event runs from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Like the other Japanese Language Exchange meetings with the JASP, it will be held in Kenmawr Apartments, located at 401 Shady Ave. (map). It runs from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Community Room and is free and open to the public.

Pittsburgh Sakura Project Fall Planting Day, November 7 at North Park.


Kazuko Macher's entry placed second in the Pittsburgh Sakura Project's 2013 photo contest.

The Pittsburgh Sakura Project will hold its 7th annual Fall Planting Day on Saturday, November 7, at North Park. The group plans to plant an additional 15 trees this fall near the Boathouse (map) from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Those interested in participating should RSVP via the event's Facebook page or by emailing PittsburghSakuraProject at gmail.com. Equipment will be provided, but work clothes and gloves are recommended.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Anthem of the Heart (心が叫びたがってるんだ。) at Hollywood Theater, November 4.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2015 Japanese animated movie Anthem of the Heart (心が叫びたがってるんだ。) on November 4. The synopsis, from the movie's official site:
Jun Naruse is a girl who carries the guilt of breaking up her family with the words she carelessly uttered when she was young…

Suddenly, a mysterious “Egg Fairy” appears in front of Jun and casts a curse on her so that she can never hurt anybody with her words. Jun’s ability to speak is sealed away: every time she tries, she feels a pain in her stomach. Traumatized by this experience, Jun hides her feelings deep inside of her heart, turning to e-mail messages on her mobile phone as her sole means of communication.

Jun is now a second year high school student. One day, her homeroom teacher appoints Jun and three other students as members of the Regional Friendship Exchange Executive Committee. As it turns out, the appointed group is a rather unexpected mix of students. Other than Jun, the members of the Committee are Takumi Sakagami, the burn-out who never speaks his true intentions; Daiki Tasaki, the former baseball team ace who failed his run at the Championships due to an injury; and Natsuki Nito, the cheerleader and honor student who has some concerns about her love life. They all suffer from emotional trauma just like Jun.
The movie was released in Japan on September 19. Tickets are available online for the 7:30 pm show. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Nobody Knows (誰も知らない) at Maridon Museum, November 5.

Nobody Knows

The Maridon Museum will show 2004's Nobody Knows (誰も知らない) on November 5 as the fourth and final installment in this fall's Japanese film series. A brief introduction, from a 2005 Roger Ebert review:
As "Nobody Knows" opens, we watch a mother and two kids moving into a new apartment. They wrestle some heavy suitcases up the stairs. When the movers have left, they open the suitcases and release two younger children, who are a secret from the landlord. "Remember the new rules," the mother says. "No going outside. Not even on the veranda -- except for Kyoko, to do the laundry."
The movie starts at 6:00 pm, runs 141 minutes, and is presented by Dr. Yukako Ishimaru of Slippery Rock University. The movies in the series are free and open to the public, though reservations are required and can be made by calling 724-282-0123.

The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St. in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Post-Gazette on "the state of sushi in Pittsburgh".

With Sushi Kim set to close, and with Fukuda gone for over a year now, Melissa McCart at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at "the state of sushi in Pittsburgh". It has nice things to say about unheralded local favorites Chaya, Kiku, and Umi, among others, and says of perennial "best sushi" winner Nakama:
too much party, not enough care
With Sushi Kim leaving, it also expands the Korean BBQ void a bit. I wrote in early 2014, upon the closing 영빈관, that Korean barbecue is not long for Pittsburgh, and that three of the four BBQ joints mentioned in a 2004 Post-Gazette review were now closed:
Unfortunately, few joints offer Korean barbecue in Pittsburgh; Sushi Kim, Jimmy's Korean Grill at Jimmy Tsang's and Ginza are the noble few.

Pittsburgh Ginkgo Fest, November 7.



Tree Pittsburgh will hold its first Pittsburgh Ginkgo Fest on Saturday, November 7, in Highland Park. The event runs from 1:00 to 4:00 at Maple Grove Shelter, next to the wooden Super Playground (map).
Join Tree Pittsburgh for our first ever Pittsburgh Ginkgo Fest to celebrate the oldest species of tree in the world and the beautiful fall colors of Highland Park! The festival will feature a performance by Pittsburgh Taiko (Japanese group taiko drumming), crafts and origami activities, children's story time, face painting, tree ID walks and photos in front of Pittsburgh's largest ginkgo tree.

Ginkgo trees are renowned for their medicinal properties, their outstanding urban tolerance, and their edible nuts. The ginkgo tree species dates back to over 200 million years.