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.

"Asia on Screen: Everyday Media Comportment: Living Between Infrastructures" at Pitt, October 30.



On October 30, the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will present the next installment in its Asia on Screen Series, "Everyday Media Comportment: Living Between Infrastructures" with Thomas Lamarre of McGill University.
This presentation proposes to explore the relations between three distinct yet overlapping infrastructures in contemporary Tokyo: broadcast television, mobile phones or keitai, and the commuter train network. The basic aim is to how consider the lived experience of polarized medial tendencies between and across these infrastructures. While a variety of everyday comportments have arisen between broadcast television and keitai, there are sites and moments where comportment seems to reach a limit, and life across polarized
tendencies feel impossible, unworkable.
The event will be held in Conference Room A of the University Club (map) from 4:00 pm, and is free and open to the public.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Chinese movie The Witness (我是证人) in Pittsburgh, from October 29.



The 2015 Chinese movie The Witness (我是证人) will open at the AMC Loew's Waterfront theater on October 29. A remake of the 2011 Korean movie Blind (블라인드), The Witness stars former member of K-pop group EXO Lu Han and Chinese singer Yang Mi,
[the movie is] about a blind girl and young boy who accidentally become the witnesses of a rainy night kidnapping, however, their testimonies are entirely contradictory.
Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The Witness continues the recent trend of new Chinese movies coming to Western Pennsylvania via the Waterfront: Saving Mr. Wu (解救吾先生) and Lost in Hong Kong (港囧) opened on October 2, and Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) on October 16.

Japanese punk band Peelander-Z at Brillobox, November 12; in Morgantown, November 11.



Japanese punk band Peelander-Z will play at Brillobox in Lawrenceville on November 12. Wikipedia provides an overview of their shows:
They perform on stage and appear in color-coordinated costumes, which they state are not costumes, but their skin. The costumes range from sentai style suits, to kimono, to rubber Playmobil style wigs. There is also a tiger costume and a giant squid/guitar costume to coincide with the song "Mad Tiger". Another aspect of their routine is their on-stage antics such as human bowling (diving head-first into bowling pins), pretending to hit each other with chairs in imitation of pro-wrestlers, and mid-performance piggyback rides. They often allow audience members on stage to join in on the fun, and often dive into the audience or hang from a balcony as part of their act.
They most recently played in Pittsburgh in 2013 and 2014. Doors open at 9:00, the music starts at 9:30, and tickets are $10 for the 21-and-over show. Brillobox is located at 4104 Penn Ave. (map), about a block from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

"Talking About Asia: The Late Prehistory of Northeast Asia" with Dr. Sungjoo Lee at Pitt, October 27.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and the Department of Anthropology present Dr. Sungjoo Lee, a professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at Kyungpook National University in South Korea and his talk "Talking About Asia: The Late Prehistory of Northeast Asia" on October 27.
How have nationalist interpretations of Northeast Asian archaeology impacted academic research in Asia? Professor Sungjoo Lee explores this critical question by analyzing the current conceptualization of the Bronze Age in Korea. Current research in population dynamics and relocation of Bronze Age settlements, the construction of monumental burials, and the development of cultural environments are rapidly changing these politically-charged interpretations. His own research will illustrate how center-periphery relations of Northeast Asia were impacted by the rapid and compressive cultural changes in the late prehistory of Korea across the region.
The talk will start at 4:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map), and is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 23, 2015

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



The annual 3 Rivers Film Fest announced its complete 2015 lineup today, and it includes two Asian movies: 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.
Both films will have two screenings, starting on November 7. The festival runs from November 6 through November 15 at five theaters around Pittsburgh. Showtimes and ticket information are available at the 3RFF website.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sushi Kim to close after 25 years.

The Pittsburgh Business Times writes on Wednesday that Sushi Kim, one of only a handful of restaurants in Pittsburgh with a Korean menu, will close after 25 years in the Strip District.
[Real estate director David Glickman] described Sushi Kim as one of the early purveyors of sushi in Pittsburgh.

“That’s a long run that they’ve had,” he said. “Not many restaurants in Pittsburgh are successful for 25 years.”

Yong Kim, the owner of the restaurant, is selling so that he can retire, said Glickman.
Sushi Kim is located at 1241 Penn Ave. on the west edge of the Strip District (map) and was voted the best sushi in Pittsburgh by readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper in 2003.

"How Pittsburgh is Growing America's Next Great Chinatown".


Sign from Pittsburgh's Chinatown bus station. The remnants of Pittsburgh's former Chinatown are downtown.

Food critic Melissa McCart of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes for Saveur that Pittsburgh's Chinese student population is leading to an improve Chinese restaurant scene. Today's article borrows from McCart's July 9 Post-Gazette piece and profiles the people behind Everyday Noodles, Sakura, and Chengdu Gourmet, three restaurants in Squirrel Hill.
Pittsburgh sits at the gateway to the Midwest and the crux of the Appalachian mountains, with more bridges than Venice, a vibrant arts community, and a growing restaurant scene. But the city has not been known for its national diversity, with a 2010 census showing that only 4 percent of residents were born abroad.

That's changing now as schools like University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne University, and Point Park University are attracting more international students from Asia—especially China. Five years ago, Pittsburgh universities counted under 1,000 Chinese students in their undergraduate and graduate programs combined; today more than 5,000 Chinese students, and several thousand more residents, call Pittsburgh home—a number that's expected to keep growing.

The surge in diversity has sparked changes in restaurant kitchens around the city, with Chinese-American and pan-Asian restaurants recruiting Chinese chefs with the help of overseas government agencies, cooking schools, and placement services in New York in order to get cooks with the cultural literacy and specialized skills to serve more regional Chinese cuisine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chinese movies Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼), Coming Home (归来) in Pittsburgh through October 29.



Two Chinese movies---2015's Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) and 2014's Coming Home (归来)---will continue their runs in Pittsburgh through October 29.

Chinese filmmaker Xu Xing at Pitt, October 23 and 24.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and Film Studies Program will host Chinese filmmaker Xu Xing on October 23 and 24 for "Asia on Screen: Lost in History or Omitted by It?", the latest installment in this term's "Asia on Screen Series".

On Friday, October 23, at 1:00 pm, the documentary Summary of Crimes (罪行摘要) will play at 121 Lawrence Hall (map):
Xu Xing's documentary searches for a group of peasants from the lowest stratum who were labeled "active counter-revolutionaries" during the Cultural Revolution era (1966-1976). They have been left with no means to recount what they suffered decades before, or to tell what has befallen them since. As the years pass, they have simply been forgotten.
A roundtable discussion with Xu follows at 3:45.
Panelists include Edward M. Gunn (Cornell University), Paola Iovene (University of Chicago), Kun Qian (University of Pittsburgh), Jinying Li (University of Pittsburgh)
On the 24th, a lecture by Xu and a screening of two films in Conference Room A of the University Club (map):
Filmmaker Xu Xing will give a lecture about his journey to documentary filmmaking. A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution film screening will start at 10:40 am followed by a screening of 5+5 at 2:00 pm.
All events are free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vietnam-based The Propeller Group at Carnegie Museum of Art, October 23 through March 21, 2016; Reception and Artist Talk on October 22.



The Carnegie Museum of Art will host The Propeller Group Reception and Artist Talk on Thursday, October 22, the day before the collective's exhibition at the museum begins.
Join Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Phunam Tuc of The Propeller Group for a theatrical screening of their entrancing video The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music (2014; 21 min.) in the CMOA theater. Following the screening, the artists will discuss their work-and connections between the Vietnamese brass band processionals portrayed in the video and New Orleans jazz funerals-with special guest Dr. Matt Sakakeeny of Tulane University.
The museum's website summarizes The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music, which runs from October 23 through March 21, 2016.
The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a spectacular visual and musical journey through the fantastical funerary traditions of South Vietnam.

Created by artist collective The Propeller Group, the video follows brass band musicians, spiritual mediums, professional criers, and street performers through the mournful and euphoric public ceremonies of a multi-day wake: a set of colorful rituals that resonate with funeral traditions in New Orleans and other parts of the “global south.”

Part documentary and part visionary reenactment, the video is a poetic rumination on life, death, and the stages in between. Ultimately, the work speaks across languages and cultures, amplifying a sense of cultural interconnection, and appealing to universal foundations of myth, storytelling, and mourning. Shot in ultra-high definition video, and produced with the technical sophistication of a Hollywood film, it immerses viewers in a lush and captivating dreamlike atmosphere.
The Carnegie Museum of Art is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map).

1964 Japanese horror anthology Kwaidan (怪談) at Maridon Museum, October 23.



The Maridon Museum wll show the 1964 horror film Kwaidan (怪談) on October 23 as the third installment in this fall's Japanese film series. A 1965 New York Times review said of it:
"Kwaidan" is a symphony of color and sound that is truly past compare. It is also well acted in a technique of Japanese gestures by a large and orderly cast, the most conspicuous and memorable of whom is Katsuo Nakamura as the blind ballad singer. It is a film that commends itself mainly to those viewers who can appreciate rare subtlety and grace.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm, runs 183 minutes, and is presented by Dr. William Covey 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.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Mystical Arts of Tibet" at IUP, October 19 to 26.


Video from a 2011 event at IUP.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host "Mystical Arts of Tibet" from October 19 through 26.
From October 19 to October 26, 10 Tibetan monks will be in residence at IUP to construct a sand mandala (representation of the universe), carve a butter sculpture, put on three short performances of Tibetan chanting and dance, and give four lectures.

Visitors may also participate in the community sand art (using the same implements as the monks do when they construct a mandala) make a peace flag, color in mandalas, and help put together mandala puzzles. Unless otherwise noted, all events and activities take place in the HUB Ohio Room. All events are free.
A full schedule is available at the IUP Department of Religious Studies page.

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

The next installment of the monthly program "Storytime: Japanese and English" will take place on October 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 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).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kiku-no-hana (chrysanthemum) display at Phipps Conservatory Fall Flower Show, from October 17.



Phipps Conservatory will highlight the chrysanthemum and its significance in Japanese culture during this year's Fall Flower Show from October 17 through November 8.
[T]his year’s Fall Flower Show brings a new perspective to the season's famed chrysanthemums through the lens of Japanese horticulture. Join us for a spirited introduction to Kiku-no-hana, or Kiku, the Japanese name for chrysanthemum, as we showcase the unique ways the blooms are traditionally grown in Japan and their importance in Japanese culture.

The wonder begins in the Palm Court, which represents China, the chrysanthemum’s country of origin, with vibrant plants in shades of red and orange, massive origami cranes, metal ornate lanterns and flickering candles. The Serpentine Room winds through a gradation of white, yellow, golden yellow, orange and deep red mums, while the Sunken Garden overflows with cascade towers of chrysanthemums and undulating waves of wagasas, or Japanese umbrellas. More beauty awaits in the Victoria Room, where the Japanese royal crest floats in the tranquil pond, and the East Room, where orange and coral blooms surround an ornate bridge and lanterns.
Phipps is located on the west edge of Oakland in Schenley Park (map), is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm six days a week, and from 9:30 am to 10:00 pm on Fridays.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jung-ho Kang on the cover of Korea's first The Red Bulletin.


via TVDaily.

The Red Bulletin, a "global men's active lifestyle magazine" started in 2009, launched in South Korea this month, and features Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang on its first cover. The cover story and interview is here, in Korean.

Chinese movie Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) at AMC Loews Waterfront, from October 16.



The 2015 Chinese comedy Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from October 16. A summary, from the distributor:
Comedians Shen Teng and Mai Li star in this film adaptation of the very popular Mainland theater play following the story of a middle-aged loser who finds himself magically transported back to his high school years, enabling him to fix all his life’s mistakes.
The movie was released on September 30 in China. Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. It will be the third straight week that new Chinese movies have had a timely release in Pittsburgh; Saving Mr. Wu (解救吾先生) and Lost in Hong Kong (港囧) opened on October 2, with the latter playing into next week. 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.

2014 Zhang Yimou film Coming Home (归来) at Regent Square Theater from October 16.



The 2014 Chinese film Coming Home (归来), directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li, will play at the Regent Square Theater from October 16. A New York Times review from September 8 summarizes a bit:
“Coming Home,” only [Zhang and Li's] second collaboration in the past 20 years, reunites them in an intimate, politically resonant story set in the final years and the immediate aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Ms. Gong plays Feng Wanyu, a teacher in a provincial city whose husband, Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming), a professor, has been sent to a labor camp in a purge of “rightists.” Feng Wanyu lives with their teenage daughter, Dan Dan (Zhang Huiwen), a dancer who dreams of playing the lead in the ballet “The Red Detachment of Women.” Her father’s pariah status threatens her ambition, and she is eager to denounce him when local officials demand it.

Early in the film, Lu Yanshi has escaped and made his way home in a doomed and desperate effort to see his family again. He receives a mixed welcome. Feng Wanyu is both terrified and eager to be with him, while Dan Dan, who barely remembers her father, is worried about the disruptive effect his presence will have on her life. Her selfishness and shortsightedness, and her inability to sympathize with her parents or put aside her own needs are all perfectly normal. She’s an adolescent, after all. But in a time of political extremity, ordinary feelings and actions can have terrible consequences. Innocent people do not only suffer under a ruthless system; they become agents of its cruelty.
Zhang and Li partnered on several of the most acclaimed Chinese movies of the 1990s, including Ju Dou (菊豆), Raise the Red Lantern (大红灯笼高高挂), The Story of Qiu Ju (秋菊打官司), and To Live (活著).

The movie will be in Mandarin with English subtitles. Showtimes and ticket information are now available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website, with the first showing scheduled for Friday at 8 pm. The theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map) in the Regent Square neighborhood, east of Squirrel Hill and Oakland.

Attack on Titan: End of the World (進撃の巨人 エンド オブ ザ ワールド) at Hollywood Theater from October 20.



The second of two recently-released Attack on Titan live action films, Attack on Titan: End of the World (進撃の巨人 エンド オブ ザ ワールド) and will play at the Hollywood Theater on October 20, 22, and 27. A brief summary of the two movies, from Tech Times:
The movies are based on a popular manga and anime series of the same name, where humanity lives behind massive walls to protect themselves against the threat of massive man-eating giants known as Titans. The story revolves around a young group of men and women who enlist in their city's armed forces to drive back the Titans after a never before seen "Colossal Titan" breaches the walls.
Attack on Titan: End of the World was released in the US on September 19. Showtimes and tickets are 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.

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Musical Fusions: Chinese, Japanese, and American Intersections" concerts and symposia at Pitt, October 16 - 18.



The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Music will host two "Musical Fusions: Chinese, Japanese, and American Intersections" concerts and two symposia from October 16 through 18 as part of this year's "Music on the Edge" series.

The first concert, on October 16 at 8:00 pm in the Bellefield Hall auditorium (map),
features Ensemble N_JP performing works by Amy Williams and Toshi Hosokawa, traditional pieces for sho and koto, and the premiere of Systole, a music and video collaboration by Gene Coleman and Adam Vidiksis.

Composer Gene Coleman formed Ensemble N_JP in 2001 as a vehicle for his ongoing work with musicians from Japan. Through concert programs, multimedia works and educational projects, the group explores connections between contemporary and traditional forms of art.



The second concert, on October 17 at 8:00 pm in the Bellefield Hall auditorium,
features Music from China performing recently commissioned works by Chen Yi, Eric Moe, Huang Ruo and Wang Guowei. The program features new music for Chinese instruments alone—erhu, pipa, zheng, dizi—or together with cello and percussion.

Well-versed in the classical and folk repertoire, the Music from China ensemble is equally accomplished at interpreting the music of today using traditional instruments. Throughout its history MFC has featured both ancient and contemporary music in its concert seasons.
There are two symposia as well in 132 Music Building (map). The first, on the 17th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm,
will include Naomi Sato (sho) and Naoko Kikuchi (koto) demonstrating their instruments’ uses in traditional and contemporary music, and composer Gene Coleman and video artist Adam Vidiksis discussing the Systole project.
And the second, on the 18th at the same time and place,
includes presentations by Music from China, and Huang Ruo and Eric Moe discussing their compositions.
Advance tickets for the concerts are available online and are $15 each for general admission and $10 for students. At the door, general admission tickets are $20. Pitt students with valid University of Pittsburgh student ID cards are free.

Tibetan Chant Ceremony October 13, talk "Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition" October 15, at Heinz Chapel.



The University of Pittsburgh's Heinz Chapel will host a Tibetan Chant Ceremony on October 13 with the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery, and a talk on "Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition" with His Eminence Gyalrong Khentrul Rinpoche on October 15. A synopsis of the latter:
Join us for a public talk by his Eminence Gyalrong Khentrul Rinpoche. The subject of death and dying is often thought of in the West as something negative and morbid. In Buddhism it is important life knowledge, enhancing and enriching our lives and bringing about a dramatic inner transformation as the mind moves into a deeper state of subtlety, clarity and fearlessness.
Both talks are open to the public, though a $10 donation is suggested for the chant ceremony.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pittsburgh should get a lantern festival.


via 경상일보

The 2015 Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival (진주남강유등축제) finishes its 11-day run on October 11. The annual festival in Jinju, South Gyeongsang province, South Korea, draws over a million visitors each year to the Nam River with scores of colorful lanterns, food tents, and fireworks.


via 경상일보

Asia on Screen: Kyoko Omori, October 15 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center will host Kyoko Omori of Hamilton College for the next installment of the Asia on Screen Series. The title is "The Voice of Silent Film: Benshi Performance in Context and in the Classroom". Benshi refers to live narrators of silent films.

The event begins at 3:00 pm at 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2014 Korean movie The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량) at Pitt, October 16.



The University of Pittsburgh's Korean Culture Association will show the 2014 movie The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량) on October 16. Starring Choi Min-sik, the 2014 movie saw limited theatrical release in the US---it make it to Pittsburgh---but is the highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea. A Los Angeles Times review provides a summary:
Choi Min-sik — the actor best known for "Oldboy," the 2003 Cannes winner remade last year by Spike Lee — assumes the role of legendary Korean Adm. Yi Sun-shin in "The Admiral: Roaring Currents."

The film depicts the storied real-life battle of Myeongnyang in 1597, when Yi led 12 ships to fend off a fleet of 330 from Japan near what is today the South Korean island of Jindo.
The event start at 9:00 pm in the William Pitt Union Kurtzman Room (map).

Japan America Society of Pennsylvania's first "Japanese-English Reading Circle", October 17.



The Japan America Society of Pennsylvania will host its first "Japanese-English Reading Circle" in Shadyside on October 17. An overview, from the event's Facebook page:

"Ask Xing Chinese" beginner class at Carnegie Library - Squirrel Hill, from October 12.

The Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill will host "Ask Xing Chinese" on the second and fourth Mondays this fall.
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.
The next session is October 12.

Also on the 12th, 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.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Boruto: Naruto the Movie at Hollywood Theater, from October 10.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont is the only theater in Pennsylvania showing Boruto: Naruto the Movie upon its US release this month, with screenings on on October 10, 11, and 13. A brief summary from Wikipedia:
It is part of the larger Start of a New Era Project (新時代開幕プロジェクト Shinjidai Kaimaku Purojekuto) to commemorate the series' 15th anniversary. The film, first teased in the post-credits scene of the previous film, The Last: Naruto the Movie, will tell about the next generation of ninja, in particular Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga's son, Boruto, and Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno's daughter, Sarada, both of whom were introduced in the final chapter of the manga series.
Screenings will be in Japanese with English subtitles. Showtimes and ticket information are available online.

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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hair Lin's (名髮廊) coming to Squirrel Hill.



Signage went up recently for Hair Lin's (名髮廊) at 2214 Murray Ave. (map), in what was most recently the Eyetique Lens Lab. It's under the same ownership of Lin's Hair Studio in the Strip District. It will be one of only a few Asian hair salons in the area, besides Min's Jazz Cuts in Oakland and the original Lin's.



Update (10/21/2015, 20:01): Now open.

Taiwanese film Baby Steps (滿月酒) at ReelQ Film Festival, October 15.



The 2014 Taiwanese film Baby Steps (滿月酒) will play at the Harris Theater on October 15 as part of the ReelQ: Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. The film's official site tells more about the movie:
Baby Steps is a Taiwan-US co-production, produced by Oscar-winning producer Li-Kong Hsu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Stephen Israel (Swimming With Sharks, G.B.F., I Do). Baby Steps received Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access production grant in 2014 as well as support from Taiwan Ministry of Culture and the City of Taipei.

Logline: Danny, a Taiwanese-American man, and his boyfriend Tate, long to have a baby, but the journey becomes more complicated by Danny’s well-intentioned but meddlesome mother who wants to control every aspect of the process from Taipei.
The movie starts at 7:30 and will be in English and Mandarin with occasional English subtitles. Tickets are $9 for general admission and $6 for students, and can be purchased online. The ReelQ Film Festival runs from October 9 through 17 at the Harris Theater in Pittsburgh's Cultural District (map).

"Understanding the Global Appeal of Japanese Popular Culture" at Pitt, October 9.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Hendrix College President William M. Tsutsui and his lecture "Understanding the Global Appeal of Japanese Popular Culture" on Friday, October 9.
The rising international prominence of Japanese popular culture—from manga and anime to sushi and Hello Kitty—is something that has been hard to ignore over the past quarter century. But why have global audiences responded so enthusiastically to Japanese entertainment products, and what cultural, social, and economic factors have contributed to the riotous creativity of Japanese pop since World War II?
It is the first event in the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies Conference at the University of Pittsburgh from October 9 through 11. The event is free and open to the public, and guests do not have to be registered for the conference to attend. The lecture runs from 2:00 to 3:30 pm in 1500 Posvar Hall (map).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

OCA Free Medical Clinic (with Chinese language interpretation) at UPMC Montefiore Hospital, October 12.



The Pittsburgh branch of the OCA, formerly known as the Organization of Chinese Americans, is hosting a free medical clinic at UPMC Montefiore Hospital in Oakland (map) on Monday, October 12. According to the event's Facebook page: "The OCA Free Medical Clinic is a screening clinic. We provide free medical consultation and Chinese language interpretation."

"Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop: Chinese Language Teacher Preparation for the Global Era" at Pitt, October 9.



The University of Pittsburgh's School of Education will host Sue-mei Wu and her workshop "Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop: Chinese Language Teacher Preparation for the Global Era" on Friday, October 9. Dr. Wu is a Teaching Professor of Chinese Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. The event is free and open to the public in 5130 Posvar Hall (map) from 3:30 to 5:00 pm.