Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bruster's Ice Cream now open in Cheonan, South Korea.


From the 부르스터스코리아 Instagram page.

Almost two years after first reading about Bruster's plans for expansion into South Korea, Bruster's Ice Cream (부르스터스코리아) opened its first location in Cheonan, South Korea on March 31. Cheonan is a city of 623,557 located south of Seoul.

"Formation of a Layered Discourse: Cui Hu’s Mural Poem and its Resonance in the Story of 'Renmian taohua'" at Pitt, April 8.

The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will host East Asian Studies M.A. candidate Rongqian Ma and her colloquium "Formation of a Layered Discourse: Cui Hu’s Mural Poem and its Resonance in the Story of 'Renmian taohua'" on April 8.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Gamelan Fusion: New and Traditional Music of West Java" concert at Pitt, April 9.



The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Music will host "Gamelan Fusion: New and Traditional Music of West Java" on Saturday, April 9.
Pitt’s University Gamelan will present “Gamelan Fusion: New and Traditional Music of West Java” on April 9th at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Gamelan comprises mainly percussion instruments including tuned gongs, metal-keyed instruments, and drums (as well as bamboo flute and voice). This instrumentation has a unique capacity to saturate the air with resonances that reach from rumbling lows to shimmering highs. The concert will feature student performers and two artists-in-residence: composer Ismet Ruchimat and vocalist Masyuning.
. . .
Each year the University Gamelan’s annual spring concert is the culmination of its Artist-in-Residence Program that offers Pitt students a rare opportunity to study music, dance, and theater with some of Indonesia’s finest artists.
The concert starts at 8:00 pm in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium (map). Tickets are currently available online and are free for Pitt students with a valid student ID card. Non-Pitt students and general admission are $5 and $8.50 in advance, respectively, or $8 and $12 at the door.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1966 yakuza film Tokyo Drifter (東京流れ者) at Row House Cinema from April 29.



The Row House Cinema will show the 1966 yazkuza film Tokyo Drifter (東京流れ者) from April 29 to May 5 as part of its Spirit of '66 series. A 2012 A.V. Club review offers a summary:
Blank-faced Tetsuya Watari stars as the titular wanderer, a gifted yakuza enforcer trying to stay true to his own idea of honor. The film traffics in a lot of familiar crime movie archetypes: the pretty girl kept on the sidelines; the father-son relationship between Watari and Ryuji Kita, his trying-to-go-straight boss; and all the complicated lines of loyalty and betrayal that come into play when a rival gang tries to muscle in on Kita’s turf. The story is engaging enough, and Watari makes for an appropriately implacable (but still soulful) lead, but what sets the film apart from countless others telling a similar tale are the lengths [director] Suzuki goes to in order to make each scene a feast for the eyes. Violent reds, purples, greens, and blues paint the screen, and the editing forgoes traditional cinematic logic in favor of impressionistic cuts and a jagged, jazzy rhythm. Through it all, Suzuki walks a knife-edge of ironic sincerity, poking at yakuza clichés in an attempt to reveal some larger, wordless truth.
Showtimes and tickets will be available online later. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pitt's Asian Studies Center introduces Tea Talks for students interested in Asia.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center announced today the start of a Tea Talks series for students interested in Asia, with the first meeting scheduled for Friday, April 1 (the poster advertises an old date).
Tea Talks at the Asian Studies Center are a chance to meet fellow students with an interest in Asia, learn about events and opportunities, and get involved with Asian Studies in a casual social setting.
The first meeting will focus on “MAKING SUMMER COUNT” – how to turn a lazy summer into time well spent. Whether it’s a job or internship, volunteering, or just personal skill-building, Asian Studies students will share their own stories and ideas on
how to use this time off to get ahead!
The get-together will be held in 4217 Posvar Hall (map) from 4:00 pm.

"Camera Fantasy: The Interwar Photomontages of Tokyo's Asahi Graph" at Pitt, March 29.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Paul Ricketts and his talk "Camera Fantasy: The Interwar Photomontages of Tokyo's Asahi Graph" on Tuesday, March 29. The talk starts at 12:00 pm in 4217 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Taiwanese movie Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) at Carnegie Library in Oakland, April 3.



The 1992 Taiwanese movie Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) will play at the Carnegie Library in Oakland on April 3, next month's installment of International Cinema Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Next Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop at Pitt, April 1.



The University of Pittsburgh's School of Education will host another Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language [CFL] Workshop this semester on Friday, April 1. The workshop on Chinese Culture Teaching by Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures instructor Qiong Wu will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in 5401 Posvar Hall (map). The presentations are primarily or entirely in Chinese.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Delivery option coming to Squirrel Hill's Pink Box.

Pink Box, a Taiwanese-owned "Asian-European fusion bakery" in Squirrel Hill, recently announced a long-rumored delivery option coming April 22 April 1. Signage points to FoodRunway.com, an empty site save for the text: "Foodrunway.com is down for maintenance and will be launching April 1st, 2016.".

Pink Box opened at 2104 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill in July 2014, and now anticipates its Oakland location to come in late-2016 or early-2017.

Monday, March 21, 2016

UPMC Shadyside Cherry Blossom Festival, April 15.


late-Spring 2015.

Invitations went out last week for the UPMC Shadyside Cherry Blossom Festival on April 15. A Facebook event page has an overview:
This annual transformation of nature will be celebrated on Friday, April 15, during the hospital’s Cherry Blossom Festival - one of the events held in celebration of our 150th Anniversary. All associates and the public are invited to the free festival, which will include tea ceremonies, performances of traditional Japanese music, and more.

A commissioned work of art by artist Hiromi Katayama, formerly of Ibaraki, Japan, and now a resident of the Pittsburgh region will be displayed at the festival. Her melding of traditional Japanese painting with modern styling demonstrates the fusion of past and present.

Raffle tickets to win her painting will be available for purchase during the festival. Proceeds will be donated to the Shadyside Hospital Foundation.
The event starts at 11 in the Japanese garden at UPMC Shadyside. I previously posted pictures from May 2015 and March 2014. A 2008 Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania newsletter describes it as "a quiet and unassuming oasis". And a plaque at the entrance reads:
This garden is a gift from Dr. Kazuo Kodera in honor of nurses. It is a place for health care providers to think about our friends around the world and to reflect on the meaning of our work, which is to care for one another. It is a place to find new friendships, to find new hope, and to find peace.

We hope you enjoy your time here.

September 2005

The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적) at Pitt's Spring Korean Film Festival, March 24.



The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적), the second of two movies showing at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures' annual Spring Korean Film Festival, will play on March 24. The distributor provides a summary::
At the onset of Joseon’s founding, envoys bringing the Emperor’s Seal of State to Joseon lose it to a big whale at sea. A bandit JANG Sa-jung goes out to sea to catch the whale with a big reward on its head. But he soon clashes with Yeo-wol, a female captain of the pirates, and unexpected adventure unfolds.
The movie will play in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Propaganda Game, Coffin in the Mountain (心迷宫) at CMU International Film Festival, March 24 and 26.



The CMU International Film Festival recently announced the schedule for its 2016 iteration, with two movies of special interest to this site: 2014's The Propaganda Game and the 2015 Chinese film Coffin in the Mountain (心迷宫).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dou kyu sei (同級生) movie at Hollywood Theater, May 8.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2016 Japanese animated movie Dou kyu sei (Classmates, 同級生) on Sunday, May 8.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble Concert at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, March 24.



The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild will host the Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble for a concert on March 24. The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania [JASP] explains:
Kenny Endo is a world famous taiko drum artist who has the honor of being the first non-Japanese national to receive the title of Natori (stage name and master’s degree) of Hogaku hayashi – traditional drumming. He has performed for Michael Jackson, Princess Di, opened for The Who, and was recorded in motion-capture suit for James Cameron’s “Avatar.”
The concert starts at 7:00 pm at 1815 Metropolitan St. (map) on the North Side. Tickets are available online and cost $30 for general admission, $25 for students and seniors, and $20 for JASP members.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Papa (洛杉矶捣蛋计划‬) in Pittsburgh, from March 18.



The 2016 Chinese movie Papa (洛杉矶捣蛋计划‬) will receive a limited North American premiere on March 18 and will play at the AMC Loews Waterfront. A summary, from the distributor:
A bumbling Chinese talent manager flies to LA in pursuit of his escaped singer, but winds up with five adopted kids and an important lesson in life.

Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) at Harris Theater, from March 18.



The 2015 Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) will play at the Harris Theater from March 18 through March 24. A February 11 New York Times review provides a summary:
Three times in “Mountains May Depart,” the latest from the transformative Chinese director Jia Zhangke, people stand near a river that weaves through the landscape like a snake. In the first instance, three friends light fireworks that send out modest sparks. In the second, only two return to the river, where they ignite a bundle of dynamite. By the third trip, only one of the original three remains, everyone’s life having changed as profoundly as China, a cataclysm that’s expressed by a series of rapid explosions in the river, suggesting a drowning world.

Few filmmakers working today look as deeply at the changing world as Mr. Jia does, or make the human stakes as vivid. The three sending out those sparks are Tao (Zhao Tao), and her two close male friends, Zhang Jinsheng (Zhang Yi) and Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong). An affable, easygoing drifter with an expansive smile, Tao works in a small store in the city of Fenyang (Mr. Jia’s birthplace). Mr. Jia likes a slow reveal and it isn’t initially obvious that Tao is the movie’s emotional organizing principle whose feelings run, surge and erupt. The story tracks Tao and her relations with both Liangzi, who works at a coal mine, and Jinsheng, a budding entrepreneur.
The movie premiered in Pittsburgh last fall as one of two Asian movies in the 2015 3 Rivers Film Fest. Showtimes are now available at the theater's website. The Harris Theater is located at 809 Liberty Ave. in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District (map).

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival at Row House Cinema, March 18 - 24.



The Row House Cinema will present its first Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival from March 18 through 24. The four films scheduled are 1949's Late Spring (晩春); the 1991 Studio Ghibli film Only Yesterday (おもひでぽろぽろ) making its US premiere; the 1985 Kurosawa film Ran (乱); and the 2015 "demented rap musical" Tokyo Tribe (トウキョウ トライブ トゥー). Showtimes and ticket information are available on the theater's website.

"Turning Crisis into a Blessing: The Evolution of Japanese Culture through Disaster" colloquium at Pitt, March 18.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will present a colloquium by MA candidate Timothy Hogge, "Turning Crisis into a Blessing: The Evolution of Japanese Culture through Disaster", on March 18. The abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to examine three major turning points in Japanese history and the evolution of Japanese culture as a result of disaster. The 1923 Kanto Earthquake, the post-World War II era, and the 3.11 triple disasters will be examined to show not only how Japanese culture has evolved over time in responses to these disasters, but also how some aspects of the culture have remained the same. Government responses, general population responses, film, art, and even literature will all be examined as a means to determine exactly how Japan's culture has evolved over time and how these three disasters represent how Japan experiences what I define as a "culture of disaster". Historical links between these disasters will also be examined such as radiation and food affecting the commerce of Japan. This inter-disciplinary approach to this examination is beneficial in that it examines multiple aspects of the disaster culture instead of focusing on one sole aspect and ignoring the rest of the culture that is occurring congruently with the disasters in question.
The talk will start at 12:00 in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Strange Beauty: Radiography from Fukushima" at University Art Gallery, March 15 - 18.



The University of Pittsburgh's University Art Gallery will host photographer Takashi Morizumi and his exhibit "Strange Beauty: Radiography from Fukushima" from Tuesday, March 15 through Friday, March 18.

Friday, March 11, 2016

6th annual Matsuri at CMU, March 25.



The Japanese Student Association at Carnegie Mellon University will present its 6th annual Matsuri on Friday, March 25. The spring matsuri (meaning festival in Japanese) benefits Minato Middle School in Ishinomaki city, which was destroyed by the March 11, 2011 tsunami. More information, from the Facebook event page:
Japanese Student Association is proud to announce its biggest event of the year: Matsuri. Join us in celebrating aspects of Japanese food, culture and society. We will be hosting the event at Merson Courtyard outside of the University Center on Friday March 25th, from 3:30 to 8 PM. While you enjoy these acts, traditional Japanese decorations and festival games, feel free to eat a variety of foods from our Food Booths such as Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, Dango and a variety of other Japanese foods! Small carnival games will be available, and J@CMU's origami and cooking groups will also be in attendance to further promote Japanese culture at CMU.

All profits go to recovery efforts for the Minato Middle School in Japan which is still suffering from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011. Your contribution is valuable and we hope to send a sizable amount of supplies this year, as we did last year. For more information regarding donations please go to this site: http://matsuri.cmu-jsa.com/cause.html
Admission is free and the event is open to the public at the rear of the Cohon University Center (map). Additional information is available at the Japanese Student Association's website.

Psycho-Pass: The Movie (劇場版 PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス) in Pittsburgh, March 15 and 16.



The 2015 Japanese animated movie Psycho-Pass: The Movie (劇場版 PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス) will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont and Southside Works Cinema on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15 and 16. The Hollywood Theater provides a summary:
One of the most popular sci-fi anime series in the past five years is making its way to the big screen. Possessing an animation and production budget only possible with a feature film, Psycho-Pass: The Movie will blow away movie-goers with its explosive action sequences and thought-provoking storytelling. This film is a must-see for fans of the TV series and fans of sci-fi action films like Akira, Blade Runner, and Minority Report.

In this culmination of the two-season Psycho-Pass TV series, Inspector Tsunemori is sent to a neighboring war-torn nation, where the Sibyl System is being introduced as an experiment, to find Shinya Kogami, her former enforcer who went rogue three years ago.
The movie will play at the Hollywood Theater both nights at 7:30 pm, and tickets are available online. Southside Works Cinema will also be one of the 100+ theaters showing the film during its North American premiere on the 15th and 16th, and tickets for the 7:00 pm show each night are now available via the theater's website.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Assassination (암살) at Pitt's Spring Korean Film Festival, March 16.



The Assassination (암살), the first of two movies showing at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures' annual Spring Korean Film Festival, will play on March 16. The Assassination's official site summarizes the movie starring Jun Ji-Hyun, Lee Jung-jae, and Ha Jung-woo:
Snipers. Marksmen. Hired Guns. Double Agents. A group of exiled rebels are planning a hit on an Army Commander in Japanese-occupied Korea, but the only killer for the job is in prison. Now, the Resistance must devise a jailbreak, escape a hitman...and discover which of them is a traitor.
An August 2015 New York Times review praises the cinematography but notes:
Brimming with characters — many in near-identical military garb — and bristling with double crosses, this unnecessarily lengthy homage to resistance chooses breadth over depth at every turn.
The movie will play in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chinese Spring Quartet concert, March 12 in Oakland.



The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chinese String Quartet will hold its 2016 Spring Concert on Saturday, March 12. The quartet features performers Hongguang Jia, Zhan Shu, Meng Wang, and Adam Liu.

The concert begins at 2:30 and will be held at the Pittsburgh Chinese Church Oakland at 134 N. Dithridge St. (map). Tickets are $30 for Tier A (including a limited number of autographed CDs), $18 for Tier B, and $15 for student tickets, and may be purchased at the door by cash or check.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016



MBC announcer Kim Sun-shin (김선신) chats with Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho before an exhibition game between Pittsburgh and Minnesota. Kim is in Florida reporting on Korean Major League players during Spring Training; there are more photos on her Instagram page (@sunshinann).

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chinese education consulting office Forward Pathway (续航教育) opening in Greenfield.



Signage recently went up in Greenfield for Forward Pathway (续航教育), a Chinese education consulting and placement firm. The offices are located at 4073 Beechwood Blvd. (map), in a vacant building that was most recently a car repair. Signage is also up for Salt&Pepper Studio (椒鹽工作室), a production company run by members of Forward Pathway.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Assassination (암살), The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적) at Spring Korean Film Festival at Pitt in March.



March brings the annual Spring Korean Film Festival to Pitt's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures, and this year's selections are 2015's The Assassination (암살) and 2014's The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적).

The Assassination's official site summarizes the movie starring Jun Ji-Hyun, Lee Jung-jae, and Ha Jung-woo:
Snipers. Marksmen. Hired Guns. Double Agents. A group of exiled rebels are planning a hit on an Army Commander in Japanese-occupied Korea, but the only killer for the job is in prison. Now, the Resistance must devise a jailbreak, escape a hitman...and discover which of them is a traitor.
And the distributor summarizes the latter:
At the onset of Joseon’s founding, envoys bringing the Emperor’s Seal of State to Joseon lose it to a big whale at sea. A bandit JANG Sa-jung goes out to sea to catch the whale with a big reward on its head. But he soon clashes with Yeo-wol, a female captain of the pirates, and unexpected adventure unfolds.
The Assassination plays on March 16, and The Pirates on March 24. Both movies show in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) in Pittsburgh, March 18 - 24.



The 2015 Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) will play at the Harris Theater from March 18 through March 24. A February 11 New York Times review provides a summary:
Three times in “Mountains May Depart,” the latest from the transformative Chinese director Jia Zhangke, people stand near a river that weaves through the landscape like a snake. In the first instance, three friends light fireworks that send out modest sparks. In the second, only two return to the river, where they ignite a bundle of dynamite. By the third trip, only one of the original three remains, everyone’s life having changed as profoundly as China, a cataclysm that’s expressed by a series of rapid explosions in the river, suggesting a drowning world.

Few filmmakers working today look as deeply at the changing world as Mr. Jia does, or make the human stakes as vivid. The three sending out those sparks are Tao (Zhao Tao), and her two close male friends, Zhang Jinsheng (Zhang Yi) and Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong). An affable, easygoing drifter with an expansive smile, Tao works in a small store in the city of Fenyang (Mr. Jia’s birthplace). Mr. Jia likes a slow reveal and it isn’t initially obvious that Tao is the movie’s emotional organizing principle whose feelings run, surge and erupt. The story tracks Tao and her relations with both Liangzi, who works at a coal mine, and Jinsheng, a budding entrepreneur.
The movie premiered in Pittsburgh last fall as one of two Asian movies in the 2015 3 Rivers Film Fest. Showtimes for this month's run have not yet been announced. The Harris Theater is located at 809 Liberty Ave. in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District (map).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2015 Japanese animated movie The Boy and the Beast (バケモノの子) in Pittsburgh from March 4.



The 2015 Japanese animated movie The Boy and the Beast (バケモノの子) will have a limited release in the US from March 4, and will open in Pittsburgh at the Southside Works Cinema. The Toronto International Film Festival page has a summary of the second-highest grossing domestic film in Japan of 2015:
A young boy in modern-day Tokyo stumbles into an alternate dimension and becomes the apprentice to a bearlike warrior, in this stunning animated fantasy from writer-director Mamoru Hosoda.
. . .
Stunningly animated and brimming with sensational martial arts and sword-fighting scenes, writer-director Mamoru Hosoda's newest fantasy takes us on a memorable and life-affirming journey, in which the tender and funny moments remind us about the importance of family, loyalty, love, and sacrifice.
Tickets are available online for the four showings on March 4: the 1:05 pm showing is dubbed in English, while the 4:05, 7:05, and 10:05 pm shows are subtitled. Southside Works Cinema is located at 425 Cinema Drive in the Southside, one block from the Hot Metal Bridge (map).