Friday, March 31, 2017

Squirrel Hill's Thai & Noodle Outlet to open March 31.



Squirrel Hill's Thai & Noodle Outlet is scheduled to open tonight, March 31.

Signage went up earlier in the month at 5813 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map), in what was most recently Sukhothai Bistro. That replaced Cool Ice Taipei, a Taiwanese food place, back in June 2014.

"Natural and Unnatural Disasters 3/11, Asbestos, and the Unmaking of Japan's Modern World" at Pitt on April 3, IUP on April 4.



Dr. Brett L. Walker of Montana State University will speak at the University of Pittsburgh on April 3 and Indiana University of Pennsylvania on April 4 on "Natural and Unnatural Disasters: 3/11, Asbestos, and the Unmaking of Japan's Modern World":
At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake devastated northeastern Japan and caused one of Earth’s most dangerous nuclear catastrophes. Along with an enduring nuclear legacy, it also left an estimated 25 millions tons of rubble, much of it contaminated with asbestos and other carcinogenic toxins. Indeed, when the tides of the devastating tsunami ebbed, the unnatural disaster of cleaning up Japan’s pulverized and aerosolized built environment remained. Now, every time a backhoe or shovel digs into this rubble, asbestos fibers are released into the environment to threaten human health.

Japan's history of asbestos use contrasts with many other industrialized nations. Although the United States EPA began phasing out asbestos in the 1970s, Japan continued to chrysotile asbestos until 2004. Indeed, asbestos was a critical fiber in the construction of Japan's modern built environment because of the culturally engrained fear of fire. Professor Walker will examine asbestos in the construction and, more importantly, destrucution of Japan's built environment, with a focus on the impact of the 3/11 disaster and the later clean up.
The event at Pitt starts at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map). The event at IUP runs from 3:30 to 5:30 pm in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Rm. 225. Both are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) in Pittsburgh, from March 31.



The 2017 Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from March 31, the date of its national premieres in China and the US. AMC provides a summary of the film, an adaptation of the 2005 Japanese novel:
Based on Keigo Higashinoas award-winning novel, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X follows a professor (Wang Kai) assisting in a murder investigation, only to find that a longtime rival and friend (Zhang Luyi) from his early university days may be involved.
Tickets are available from the AMC 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.

Direct flights between Pittsburgh and China in the works?

Talk about burying the lede: a Tribune-Review story headlined by the cost of a trip to China hides the news that local airport officials are exploring the possibility of non-stop flights between Pittsburgh and China.
Allegheny County, Pittsburgh International Airport and tourism officials are traveling in China this week in the hopes of establishing air service between the airport in Findlay and China.

Bob Kerlik, airport spokesman, said the group includes County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis; Bryan Dietz, the airport's vice president of air service development; Vince Gastgeb, the airport's vice president of government and community affairs; VisitPittsburgh CEO Craig Davis; and Idea Foundry CEO Mike Matesic.
. . .
The goal of the trip is to establish scheduled nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and China, which would likely take several years to finalize, he said.

In the shorter term, officials hope to establish chartered flights to China and pursue opportunities with tour operators.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회), May 6 in Shadyside.

Look for the 2017 Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회) on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 to 4:00 pm. The highly-anticipated annual Korean food festival is in its 22nd year, and is held at 821 S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside (map).

Monday, March 27, 2017

"A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions in China and the United States", April 10 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh's Institute for International Studies in Education will host PhD candidate and IISE Program Coordinator Weiyan Xiong and his talk "A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions in China and the United States" as part of this term's Symposium Series on April 10. The event runs from 12:00 to 1:30 pm 5640 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Dubbed version of Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) in Pittsburgh, April 23.



If you missed the Pittsburgh premiere of the Japanese animated movie Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) on March 9, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show a dubbed-in-English version on April 23 The official site provides a plot summary of the movie, which opened in Japan in February:
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba, called NerveGear. It was the first full-dive system, and with it, came endless possibilities to VRMMORPGs.

In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the Amusphere. A next-gen wearable device, the Augma doesn't have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality (AR) to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market. The most popular game on the system is "Ordinal Scale" (aka: OS), an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.

Asuna and the gang have already been playing OS for a while, by the time Kirito decides to join them. They're about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn't all fun and games…
Tickets for the 2:00 pm show are available online for $15. 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.

2016 Korean zombie movie Train to Busan (부산행) at Pitt, March 31.



The 2016 Korean movie Train to Busan (부산행) will play at the University of Pittsburgh on March 31 as part of the Department of East Asian Language & Literatures' Korean Film Festival. A July 2016 New York Times review summarizes the 2016 hit zombie movie:
The setup is lean and clean. A flattened deer, mowed down in a quarantine zone in Seoul where some kind of chemical spill has occurred (echoes of Bong Joon-ho’s 2007 enviro-horror film, “The Host”), springs back to life. Then, in just a few swiftly efficient scenes, we meet a harried hedge-fund manager and his small, sad daughter (Gong Yoo and an amazing Kim Su-ahn), see them settled on the titular locomotive and watch in dismay as a vividly unwell last-minute passenger lurches onboard. And we’re off!

Sprinting right out of the gate, the director, Yeon Sang-ho, dives gleefully into a sandbox of spilled brains and smug entitlement. (“In the old days, they’d be re-educated,” one biddy remarks upon spying an undesirable fellow traveler.) As zombies chomp and multiply, an assortment of regular folks face them down while furthering an extended critique of corporate callousness. The politics are sweet, but it’s the creatures that divert. Eyes like Ping-Pong balls and spines like rubber — I’d wager more than a few chiropractors were required on the set — they attack in seizures of spastic energy. They’re like break-dancing corpses.
The movie will play from 4:00 to 7:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

"Distant Reading and Modern Japanese Literature" at Pitt, March 30.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center is hosting the University of Chicago's Hoyt Long and his talk "Distant Reading and Modern Japanese Literature" on March 30. It starts at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

"San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" at Pitt, March 31.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures will present graduate student Sandi Ward's colloquium "San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" on March 31.
San Mao (三毛, 1943-1991) was one of the most popular writers in the Chinese-speaking world during the 1970s and '80s. Her most popular works concern life with her Spanish husband in Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) and the Canary Islands. These tales portray San Mao as an independent, resourceful wanderer making a home for herself wherever she goes, and interacting with overlooked members of society. San Mao's self-depiction as a representative of Chinese culture spreading goodwill throughout the world found a receptive audience in 1970s Taiwan, with her fame spreading to mainland China in the 1980s. These waves of enthusiasm for San Mao's work were dubbed "San Mao Fever" or the "San Mao Phenomenon."

"San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" explores San Mao's popularity using Raymond Williams' term "structures of feeling." Williams used "structures of feeling" to describe the state of experiences as they emerge and develop; they help identify a generation or a spirit of an era. I argue that San Mao and her readers shared an affinity with a particular structure of feeling emphasizing freedom, equality, and self-expression, at a time when readers in Taiwan and mainland China faced government oppression and isolation from the wider world. Meanwhile, critics disdained San Mao in part because they inherently lacked access to this structure of feeling.
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Friday, March 24, 2017

"K-pop: The Rise of the Machine" lecture and noraebang, March 31 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh's Daehwa: Korean Conversation Club will host Dr. Yun-oh Whang and the lecture "K-pop: The Rise of the Machine" on March 31. The event will include a noraebang ("singing room") experience. It runs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm in room 548 of the William Pitt Union (map).

Chinese-Canadian movie Old Stone (老石) at CMU International Film Festival, March 30.



The 2016 Chinese-Canadian film Old Stone老石) will play in Pittsburgh on March 30, part of the annual Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival.
Old Stone follows the repercussions of a car accident in a society where life is cheap and compassion is ruinously expensive. Chinese taxi driver Lao Shi finds himself in a living nightmare after he reluctantly picks up a drunken passenger and must face the consequences of a car accident that permanently cripples a pedestrian. According to Chinese law, Lao Shi is required to assume financial responsibility for the injured pedestrian until the end of that individual's life. As he fights to save the life he once had and strives to do the right thing, Lao Shi is forced to act in ways contrary to his own identity and morals.
A panel discussion with Jinying Li, Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and Tae Wan Kim, Assistant Professor of Business Ethics at CMU will accompany the screening. The event starts at 7:00 pm in McConomy Auditorium in the Jared L Cohon University Center (map), and tickets are currently available online.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) in Pittsburgh, from March 31.



The 2017 Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from March 31. AMC provides a summary of the film, an adaptation of the 2005 Japanese novel:
Based on Keigo Higashinoas award-winning novel, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X follows a professor (Wang Kai) assisting in a murder investigation, only to find that a longtime rival and friend (Zhang Luyi) from his early university days may be involved.
Tickets are available from the AMC 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.

Wayback Wednesday: When a K-pop group performed in Pittsburgh in 2009.



On July 25, 2009, the K-pop quintet Wonder Girls toured the US with the Jonas Brothers, and provided the first and only K-pop performance in Pittsburgh. They were one of the biggest girl groups in Korea in 2007 and 2008, and had focused on an international tour in 2009. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly for the time and the presentation, they made little impression in Pennsylvania.

Wild N Young: K-Pop Appreciation! at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, May 17.



Advance notice for Wild N Young: K-Pop Appreciation! at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy on May 17.
We're bringing K-POP to Pittsburgh, it's way past due.

Korean Pop music has spread over the world and now we are celebrating it here in Pittsburgh at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy

Join us mid-week, mid-May for the best of the best in K-pop dance, sound and video.

You might even become part of a choreographed routine , which will be performed at the end of the night

Free entry... Buy drinks n dance your buns offff
Starts at 8 goes all night...
It's located at 422 Foreland St. in the Deutschtown neighborhood (map).

Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop at Pitt, March 24.

The University of Pittsburgh's School of Education will host the next Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Workshop on Friday, March 24, with Dr. Shuhan C. Wang (王周淑涵) of ELE Consulting International. The event starts at 2:00 pm in 5604 Posvar Hall (map), and is conducted in Chinese.

Ariba hiring bilingual Chinese-English Procurement Operations Specialist (SAP Ariba) for overnight position.

Pittsburgh-based Ariba is again hiring a bilingual Chinese-English Procurement Operations Specialist for an 8:00 pm to 5:00 am shift. An excerpt from the job posting:
The Customer Support Specialist is the face and voice of Ariba to our customers, building relationships in each interaction. Specialists help our customers maximize the benefits of Ariba solutions to facilitate a global exchange of goods and services in the world’s largest business to business trading community. They use their expertise and collaborate with team members and customers across the globe to provide detailed solutions that exceed expectations.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Provides inbound application and functional support for all relevant Ariba applications, both internally and externally, by way of email, webform and phone.
• Resolves 80% of issues without escalation.
• Respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner and within service level objectives.
• Successfully documents all requests through the CRM system while adhering to all documented procedures.
• Provides general assistance to other teams within Global Customer Support and Ariba.
• Conducts all customer interactions in a manner that presents Ariba in a positive light. Specialists are required to be respectful, fair, gracious and knowledgeable and to uphold the core values established by Ariba.
• Ensures that individual performance meets or exceeds the department standards.
• All other duties as assigned.
Additional details and application information are available on the SAP website.

Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs Town Hall in Pittsburgh, March 25.

The PA Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs will host a Town Hall meeting at the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 25.
Please join the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs for an interactive dialogue. GACAPAA is responsible for serving as the advocate agency in the Commonwealth for our diverse AAPI communities. The Commission wants to hear about the challenges facing the AAPI communities in Greater Pittsburgh and how we can leverage our strengths to effectively advocate, promote resources and best serve our AAPI communities. Space is limited and your participation is critical. Please plan to attend. If you have specific questions or issues you want addressed please e-mail them ahead of time to tlawson at pa.gov.
The event runs from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in room 2700 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public. The required registration can be completed online.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Animal Socialities: Healing and Affect in a Japanese Animal Café" at Pitt, April 4.


Via Pitt Magazine.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Anthropology will present a talk by PhD candidate Amanda Robinson, "Animal Socialities: Healing and Affect in a Japanese Animal Café", on April 4.
This presentation examines how young people in Japan use “animal cafés” to meet their need for sociality. In animal cafés, owners, employees and customers are all involved in constructing a refuge from the social consequences of Japan’s labor market deregulation. I propose that the sociality of the animal café is tied to relaxation and the performance of non-productivity, where visitors can feel connected to others in a public space without having to “work” at interacting. As a business that allows visitors to experience a sense of iyashi (healing) that emerge from non-discursive, relaxing connections with animals, I conceptualize animal cafés as part of the affect economy that is increasingly important as Japanese people turn to the market to meet their emotional needs.
The presentation starts at 1:00 pm in 3106 Posvar Hall (map).

Monday, March 20, 2017

"The Impact of Local Changes and Global Trends: The US, Japan, and the Rise and Fall of the TPP" at Pitt, March 23.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Kay Shimizu of the Department of Political Science and Patricia Maclahlan of the University of Texas and Austin on March 23 for "The Impact of Local Changes and Global Trends: The US, Japan, and the Rise and Fall of the TPP".
The joint lecture will discuss how and why policymakers in both the US and Japan that have reacted to the rise and fall of negotiations over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The talk starts at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Way Home (집으로) at Maridon Museum, March 24.



The Maridon Museum will show the 2002 Korean movie The Way Home (집으로) as the first installment of this spring's Korean Film Series on March 24. A 2002 San Francisco Chronicle review provides a summary:
Dumped by his mother at the rural home of his ancient grandmother, a 7-year- old boy turns surly and depressed. His Game Boy batteries die, Grandma's food tastes strange, and the countryside lacks the vivid distractions of urban life.
Gradually, the spoiled brat (Seung-Ho Yoo) and the deaf, exquisitely patient grandmother (Eul-Boon Kim) grow to love and understand each other. By the time his mother returns to claim him, the boy has learned more from the old woman's gestures of kindness than his mother ever taught him.
The Maridon Museum is an Asian art museum at 322 N. McKean St. in downtown Butler (map) that runs film series periodically throughout the year, in addition to art classes, book club meetings, and its regular exhibits.

"MEPPI Japan Lecture Series – The Basics of Bonsai", March 23.



The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will present "MEPPI Japan Lecture Series – The Basics of Bonsai" on March 23.
The pots may be shallow, but bonsai is a deep art form. With origins in Chinese penjing, bonsai has developed in Japan for a thousand years. Past-president of the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society Daniel Yobp will give attendees the history, species and design principles of bonsai, followed by a demonstration with a shrub.
It will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Doubletree by Hilton in Cranberry (map). Space is limited and registration is required

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tsunami Punx: The Tōhoku Live House Movement at Row House Cinema, April 9.



Part of the Row House Cinema's 2nd annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival is Tsunami Punx: The Tōhoku Live House Movement, a documentary by Pittsburgh native and 2011 Tohoku earthquake survivor Matthew Ketchum on the tsunami and Japan's underground punk rock scene.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 resulted in one of the most devastating tsunami’s the world has seen. In the aftermath, punk musicians and DIY organizers hailing from three Northern seaside towns formed a collective with the goal of erecting Live Houses amidst the ruin, creating an oasis for communities in defiance of the slow, tedious work of reconstruction.

Thus, the Tohoku Live House Movement was begun. Soon enough, word reached Tokyo of their work, and a group of young filmmakers from Waseda University arrived to document the unlikely but colossal impact of the punk community on the lives of others. Even now, the Movement continues, sharing music & art wherever it is welcome and needed.
Ketchum runs the site Kaala.jp and has a weekly radio show on Sunday afternoons on WRCT 88.3 FM.

The show starts at 4:30 pm and the tickets are now on sale for $6.50. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2015 Korean movie Veteran (베테랑) at Pitt, March 17.



The 2015 Korean movie Veteran (베테랑) will play at the University of Pittsburgh on March 17 as part of the Department of East Asian Language & Literatures' Korean Film Festival. A September 2015 New York Times review provides a summary:
Hwang Jung-min is cool and capable as the longtime detective whose investigation of a friend’s suicide attempt pits him against the conglomerate’s lawyers, thugs and paid-off policemen; he’s a quieter version of the Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson cop who plays the fool but is good in a fight. The Korean heartthrob Yoo Ah-in plays the preening adversary, whose response to being shown up is to humiliate the nearest woman or assault the nearest pet.
The movie will play from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Japanese Tea Ceremony, March 25 in Oakland.



The Carnegie Library Main Branch will present a Japanese Tea Ceremony with Yuko Eguchi Wright on March 25.
Tea Ceremony of Chado (The Way of the 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. Lean the history and philosophy of the Japanese Tea Ceremony while tasting Japanese tea and sweets.
This program is part of the celebration of the NEA Big Read project locally hosted by Gumberg Library at Duquesne University. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. This year’s Big Read is When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka – This story, told from five different points of view, chronicles the experiences of Japanese Americans caught up in the nightmare of the World War II internment camps.
The event runs from 2:30 to 4:30 in the International Poetry Room and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map).

Comparative Religions: Buddhism and Shinto, March 18 at Carnegie Library West End.

The third talk in a three-part series on Comparative Religions of East Asia at the Carnegie Library West End will be held on March 18 on the topic of "Comparative Religions: Buddhism and Shinto":
During the third and final comparative religion lecture at CLP-West End, we will focus on Japan to examine the island nation’s differences with it’s mainland neighbors. How Buddhism evolved there and how Shinto worship came to be, and what it symbolizes, will be the focus of our religious inquiry..
The event runs from 1:00 to 2:00 pm and are free and open to the public. The West End branch is located at 47 Wabash Street (map).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Veteran (베테랑), Train to Busan (부산행) comprise Korean Film Festival at Pitt, March 17 and 31.



The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures announced the lineup for its annual Korean Film Festival today, consisting of Veteran (베테랑) on March 17 and Train to Busan (부산행) on March 31.

A New York Times review summarizes 2015's Veteran:
Hwang Jung-min is cool and capable as the longtime detective whose investigation of a friend’s suicide attempt pits him against the conglomerate’s lawyers, thugs and paid-off policemen; he’s a quieter version of the Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson cop who plays the fool but is good in a fight. The Korean heartthrob Yoo Ah-in plays the preening adversary, whose response to being shown up is to humiliate the nearest woman or assault the nearest pet.
A July 2016 New York Times review summarizes Train to Busan, the 2016 hit zombie movie:
The setup is lean and clean. A flattened deer, mowed down in a quarantine zone in Seoul where some kind of chemical spill has occurred (echoes of Bong Joon-ho’s 2007 enviro-horror film, “The Host”), springs back to life. Then, in just a few swiftly efficient scenes, we meet a harried hedge-fund manager and his small, sad daughter (Gong Yoo and an amazing Kim Su-ahn), see them settled on the titular locomotive and watch in dismay as a vividly unwell last-minute passenger lurches onboard. And we’re off!

Sprinting right out of the gate, the director, Yeon Sang-ho, dives gleefully into a sandbox of spilled brains and smug entitlement. (“In the old days, they’d be re-educated,” one biddy remarks upon spying an undesirable fellow traveler.) As zombies chomp and multiply, an assortment of regular folks face them down while furthering an extended critique of corporate callousness. The politics are sweet, but it’s the creatures that divert. Eyes like Ping-Pong balls and spines like rubber — I’d wager more than a few chiropractors were required on the set — they attack in seizures of spastic energy. They’re like break-dancing corpses.
Both movies will play in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and are free and open to the public.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail at CMU International Film Festival, March 24 and 25.



In addition to the two films on Asia, the Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival will show Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, a 2016 documentary on "the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York."
Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.
The movie will play on March 24 at the Harris Theater downtown and on March 25 at Carnegie Mellon. The screenings include a Q&A session with director Steve James. Tickets are available online.

Pitt hiring part-time instructors of Korean.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures is currently hiring part-time instructors of Korean for Fall 2017.
EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Korean language program beginning in the fall of 2017. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please send a resume or CV to Mi-Hyun Kim. The CV is required for initial screening. Candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in April/May 2017.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Pitt, March 21.



The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, following the cellist Ma and a collective of musicians from across the world, will play at Pitt on March 21. The official site summarizes:
Over the past 16 years, an extraordinary group of musicians has come together to celebrate the universal power of music. Named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, The Silk Road Ensemble, an international collective created by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for both artists and audiences.

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the latest film from the creators of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically-hailed Best of Enemies, follows an ever-changing lineup of performers drawn from the ensemble’s more than 50 instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.

Blending performance footage, personal interviews and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind.
The movie starts at 5:00 pm in 125 Frick Fine Arts Center in Oakland (map).

Gene Luen Yang at Carnegie Lecture Hall, March 19.



The Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series will host author Gene Luen Yang on March 19.
Gene Luen Yang is an award-winning graphic novelist and the 2016 Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He has written and drawn over a dozen books including Duncan’s Kingdom, The Rosary Comic Book, Prime Baby, and Animal Crackers. His 2006 book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award. His 2013 two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints was nominated for the National Book Award and won the LA Times Book Prize. Yang also writes Dark Horse Comics’ Avatar: The Last Airbender series and DC Comics’ Superman. Secret Coders, his middle-grade graphic novel series with cartoonist Mike Holmes, teaches kids the basics of computer programming.

With his latest graphic novel, Level Up, Yang returns to the subject he revolutionized with American Born Chinese. Whimsical and serious, by turns, this story about a boy who wants to play video games and his parents’ high expectation for him to go to medical school, is a new look at the tale that Yang has made his own: coming of age as an Asian American.
Tickets are $11 and available online. The talk begins at 2:30 pm at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland (map).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hit movie Your Name (君の名は) in Pittsburgh, from April 7.



The record-setting Japanese movie Your Name (君の名は) will be premiering across the United States on April 7, and will open in Pittsburgh at the Southside Works Cinema. The distributor provides a summary:
From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls.

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint.

When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, it dawns on them. They want something more from this connection—a chance to meet, an opportunity to truly know each other. Tugging at the string of fate, they try to find a way to each other. But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart. Is their bond strong enough to face the cruel irony of time? Or is their meeting nothing more than a wish upon the stars?
Tickets are not yet available online, and more theaters carrying the film will be announced later.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Reading with Chinese lawyer and human rights activist Teng Biao at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, March 21.


By May Tze for South China Morning Post.

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City will host Chinese lawyer and human rights activist Teng Biao on March 21.
Teng Biao will be reading an essay about his fight for human rights and freedom in China–why people like him join the struggle even after being persecuted severely–as well as a poem he wrote for his wife when he was kidnapped and detained by secret police in 2008.
. . .
Dr. Teng Biao is an academic lawyer and a human rights activist. He was formerly a Lecturer in the China University of Political Science and Law, a visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, and currently a visiting scholar at New York University and the Institute for Advanced Study. He co-founded “Open Constitution Initiative”, ”China Human Rights Accountability Center” and is also the Founder and President of the China Against the Death Penalty. His research interest includes human rights, criminal justice, constitutionalism, social movement and political transition in China.
The event begins at 8:00 pm, and is free and open to the public (RSVP requested). Alphabet City opened in September 2016 as the permanent home of City of Asylum, and is located at 40 W. North St. in the North Side (map).

Korean Hand Therapy workshop at Western Allegheny Community Library, April 8.

The Western Allegheny Community Library in Oakdale will host a workshop on Korean Hand Therapy (고려수지침) with Bonnie Lowery on April 8:
Korean Hand Therapy is a modified system of acupuncture that is limited to the hands and requires no needles. By the application of direct pressure on the hands, or by placement of small metal pellets on specific points on the hands, signals are sent out to the entire body to relieve pain and to bring balance to the afflicted area. Korean Hand Therapy helps relieve headaches, sinus congestion, back pain, inflammation, migraines, and other physical conditions. This therapy offers immediate results! In this workshop you will learn how to relieve your back pain. Bonnie Lowery is a Korean Hand Therapist and has been practicing this art since 2008.
The event starts at 10:00 am in the library's Community Room and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 181 Bateman Road in Oakdale (map).

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Japanese psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyo at Spirit, May 10



The Japanese psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyo will play at the Spirit in Lawrenceville on May 10. Doors open for the 21-and-over event at 8:00 and the show starts at 9:00. Tickets are $10.

Lineup for 2nd annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival at Row House Cinema announced.



Yesterday the Row House Cinema announced the lineup for the 2nd annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival, which will run from April 7 through 13. Seven movies comprise the 2017 iteration, and, as the Facebook event page describes it, the "key themes this year include felines, friendship, and the samurai code for 2017": 1977's House (ハウス), 1962's Harakiri (切腹), 1993's Sailor Moon R: The Movie (劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンR) , 2014's Samurai Cat (猫侍), 2002's short film Ghiblies Episode 2 (ギブリーズ episode2), and 2013's Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い). Special events include Pittsburgh Taiko on April 10, a tea ceremony on April 12, and the remastered 1995 Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) as the closing film.

Tickets will go on sale March 15 at 5:30 pm, though a schedule is available online. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2013 French-Chinese movie The Nightingale (夜莺) at Northland Public Library, May 10.



The Northland Public Library recently announced the May installment in its monthly Foreign / Indie Film Series, the 2013 French-Chinese movie The Nightingale (夜莺). The library summarizes:
Ren Xing is a spoiled ten year old who has everything. Her parents are never together at any one time due to business. However both will be away for an extended time and must find a babysitter for Ren Xing. As a last resort, Ren’s mother asks her husband’s father for help. Her husband hasn’t spoken to his father in many years due to an incident in his childhood. The grandfather is not up to date with the world, and doesn’t want to, so the two do not understand one another. However, the grandfather has to visit the grave of his late wife before his beloved nightingale dies, as the nightingale is eighteen years old . The nightingale is the last remnant of the time he spent with his wife. His wife had never heard the nightingale sing. To get to her grave site is a long trek. Will the two bond while on the trek? The movie is beautifully shot in the idyllic Chinese countryside.
The movie runs from 1:30 to 3:30 pm on May 10 and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 300 Cumberland Rd. in the North Hills (map).

Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism talk at Carnegie Library West End branch, March 11.

The second talk in a three-part series on Comparative Religions of East Asia at the Carnegie Library West End will be held on March 11 on the topic of "Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism":
The second lecture in our three part comparative religion series, hosted by Steve Joseph, will examine the themes, similarities and differences between Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Each religion (or philosophy, if you prefer) exerted great influence over social, political and religious thought and practice throughout China, Korea and Japan. Learn about their origins, basic tenants and points of emphasis.
The event rusn from 1:00 to 2:00 pm and are free and open to the public. The West End branch is located at 47 Wabash Street (map).

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

6th Annual Tomodachi Festival: A Celebration of Japanese Culture, April 1 in Oakland.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Main Branch in Oakland will host the 6th annual Tomodachi Festival on Saturday, April 1.
Tomodachi is a Japanese word meaning “friends”. Help us celebrate the spirit of friendship through activities, art and food that showcase Japan, its people and rich history.

Activities include:

  • Kamishibai storytelling, singing and dancing
  • Origami Art
  • Kimono try-ons
  • Japanese inspired refreshments
The event runs from 2:00 to 5:00 pm in the Children's section of the library, and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map) and is accessible by buses 28X, 54, 61C, 61D, 67, 69, 71A, 71B, 71C, 71D, and 93.

Monday, March 6, 2017

7th annual Matsuri at CMU, April 11.



The Japanese Student Association at Carnegie Mellon University will present its 7th annual Matsuri on Tuesday, April 11. 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 festival's official site:
Originally a sacred ceremony of the Shinto belief, now a night full of street food, arcade games, and joyful performances, Matsuris are of great importance to the Japanese people, its culture and its traditions.

We wanted to share a snippet of this eventful festival here in Pittsburgh, right on the CMU campus. Come by to try a taste of Japanese street food, play some traditional Japanese games, and enjoy a range of performances from Japanese Taiko Drumming to Pop + Rock Fusions of Contemporary Japanese Music.

We have put in a lot of effort into authenticity; we purchase things online and ship them from Japan. We hand craft our booths to make it look like what you see on the streets in Japan. Enjoy the event to its fullest by paying attention to the small details!

We are also proud to annouce that 100% of the profits we make at this event will be donated to Minato Middle school in Ishinomaki, Japan. This school lost their whole campus due to the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. Please read more about our cause here.
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.

Downtown's Yuzu Kitchen, Lawrenceville's Ki Ramen among NextPittsburgh's seven new restaurants to try this spring.


Yuzu Kitchen, coming soon to 409 Wood St. (via @yuzukitchenpgh).

NextPittsburgh's list of seven new restaurants to try this spring includes Yuzu Kitchen and Ki Ramen, coming soon to downtown and Lawrencville, respectively.
Located in the heart of the business district on Wood St., Yuzu Kitchen will feature ramen dishes, tapas-style appetizers and robata grill items. Robata (short for “robatayaki”) in Japanese cuisine is similar to food barbecued on skewers. The menu will feature food with influences from Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisines.
. . .
A restaurant and bar with traditional ramen as its main focus, Ki Ramen will serve different broths with the unique twist of homemade noodles instead of what most ramen places use.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chinese-Canadian movie Old Stone (老石), documentary The Eagle Huntress part of CMU International Film Festival in March and April.



The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival recently announced its films for the 2017 "Faces of Identity" iteration, with the 2016 Chinese-Canadian film Old Stone (老石) and the documentary The Eagle Huntress as part of the line-up. Old Stone will play on March 30 and will feature a panel discussion, and The Eagle Huntress will play on April 6. The schedule is available online, though tickets for these two movies are not yet for sale.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Japanese for English speakers coming to Duolingo in May.

Buried at the bottom of a Tribune-Review article yesterday about the launch of a Swahili language course by the Pittsburgh-based Duolingo is an update on the status of Japanese lessons for English speakers:
[Director of business development at Duolingo Rogelio] Alvarez said East Asian languages have been the most challenging. Some, such as Mandarin Chinese, don't have an alphabet but use tones, which is challenging to teach. Demand for those languages, however, has pushed the company. Alvarez told the Trib that Duolingo expects to launch a Japanese course for English speakers in May in response to high demand.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Thai N' Noodle Outlet coming soon to Squirrel Hill.



Coming Soon signage recently went up for Thai N' Noodle Outlet at 5813 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map), in what was most recently Sukhothai Bistro. That replaced Cool Ice Taipei, a Taiwanese food place, back in June 2014.

Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) in Pittsburgh, March 9.



The upcoming Japanese animated movie Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) will play at several Cinemark theaters throughout Pittsburgh and at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on March 9, the date of its US premiere. The official site provides a plot summary of the movie, which opened in Japan in February:
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba, called NerveGear. It was the first full-dive system, and with it, came endless possibilities to VRMMORPGs.

In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the Amusphere. A next-gen wearable device, the Augma doesn't have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality (AR) to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market. The most popular game on the system is "Ordinal Scale" (aka: OS), an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.

Asuna and the gang have already been playing OS for a while, by the time Kirito decides to join them. They're about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn't all fun and games…
Tickets for the 8:15 pm show at the Hollywood Theater 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.

The movie will have 8:00 pm screenings at five local Cinemark theaters: Pittsburgh Mills, North Hills, Robinson, Monroeville, and Monaca. Tickets for those are available online as well.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

CMMI Institute hiring Chinese-speaking Quality Analyst.

Pittsburgh-based CMMI Institute is hiring a Chinese-speaking Quality Analyst. An excerpt of the job posting:
CMMI Institute is dedicated to elevating organizational performance through best-in-class solutions to real-world challenges. The Institute is the home of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for Development, Services, and Acquisition; the People Capability Maturity Model; and the Data Management Maturity Model which are process improvement models that create high-performance, high-maturity cultures. The models are used in thousands of organizations worldwide to deliver business results that serve as differentiators in the global market.

Summary:

As a member of the Quality Department, analysts provide CMMI Model and appraisal Method support for certified professionals by conducting quality reviews on SCAMPI appraisals, CMMI course deliveries, certification renewals, permission to use intellectual property and ethics and compliance issues. The Quality Department is responsible for protecting the CMMI Brand; analysts must assess the nature of product or service issues and resolve basic and complex technical and support problems.
The full posting, and application instructions, is available at the CMMI website.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shaolin Warriors at Byham Theater, March 21.



The Shaolin Warriors, a touring martial arts group from China, will perform in Pittsburgh on March 21, 2017. The Byham Theater summarizes (inadvertently revealing a copy-paste from another theater's site):
In this all-new, fully choreographed theatrical production, the Shaolin Warriors bring remarkable skill, stunning movement, and death-defying martial-arts prowess to the Byham Theater stage. The Kung Fu Masters of the Shaolin temple begin training at a very young age in mental and physical disciplines. They perfect the art of hand-to-hand and weapons combat, performing feats live on stage typically seen only in the movies
Tickets start at $25 and are available online. The theater is located at 101 6th St. in the Cultural District (map).