Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pittsburgh to honor its Asian-American heritage with May 2nd City Council Proclamation, May 6 "Day of Inclusion".

In the biggest start to Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Pittsburgh has ever seen, the City Council of Pittsburgh will welcome members of the Asian-American community and its friends to the City-County building on May 2 for a proclamation recognizing the impact of the local Asian-American communities throughout the city's history. City Council will proclaim May 6 the "Day of Inclusion" in the City of Pittsburgh, a day that marks the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act that halted legal Chinese immigration to the US for seven decades. This information comes from the Organization of Chinese Americans newsletter:
To kick off nationally recognized Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month in May, OCA-Pittsburgh has been working with Councilman Gilman's office to issue a proclamation recognizing the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and to highlight the positive contributions of all immigrants and refugees in the region.

We Chinese Americans came to Pittsburgh as early as 140 years ago. 135 years ago, the US government discriminately decided to exclude any more entry of Chinese. Today, it is our responsibility as Chinese American Pittsburghers to remind this city and the nation "never again".

OCA is proud to take on the leadership role in having the great city of Pittsburgh recognize this "Day of Inclusion," and spotlight that all immigrants and refugees are welcome here. We would like to invite everyone to join us on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the City Council building to show how much the Chinese and Asian American community matter to this region. Below is the text of the proclamation to be presented at that City Council Meeting. Please email us at info@ocapghpa.org to let us know you can attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
The newsletter also shares the text of the forthcoming proclamation:
WHEREAS, on May 6, 1882, President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was the nation's first law to prohibit immigration solely on the basis of ethnicity;

WHEREAS, the Chinese Exclusion Act was based on racial hostility against Chinese, who were characterized as "unassimilable, vile heathens" and were blamed for lowering wages, taking away jobs, and endangering the American way of life, and was renewed in 1892, 1902 and 1904 denying Chinese a pathway to citizenship for more than 60 years;

WHEREAS, subsequent legislation such as the 1892 Geary Act, which required all Chinese to register for and carry on their persons Certificates of Residence or risk imprisonment and deportation set a precedent for future discriminatory registries of immigrants and descendants of immigrants;

WHEREAS, OCA-Advocates of Asian and Pacific Americans -- Pittsburgh Chapter has worked for the last 43 years dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in our region, recognizing the origins of the Chinese community in Pittsburgh date back all the way to the 1870's and have evolved into a strong, productive community who have contributed to all sectors in Pittsburgh -- including government, business, arts and sciences, medicine, law enforcement, and the military and whose abilities and contributions strengthen our economy, enrich our diverse culture, and invigorate our city's neighborhoods; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh recognizes the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act as a day to condemn hatred and prejudice, promote diversity and inclusivity, and reaffirm our values as a welcoming city that values the importance of immigrants and refugees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby recognize the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act as an opportunity to restate that Pittsburgh is as a city for all and celebrate the important contributions of Pittsburgh's Chinese community; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby declare May 6th, 2017 to be the Pittsburgh "Day of Inclusion," and proclaim and celebrate the month of May as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month in our region.

SPONSORED BY: COUNCILMAN DAN GILMAN

Co-Sponsored By Council Members:
Ricky V. Burgess, Deborah L. Gross, Darlene M. Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith, Bruce A. Kraus, R. Daniel Lavelle, Corey O'Connor, and Natalia Rudiak

Attest: Bruce Kraus, President of Council

Attest: Mary Beth Doheny, City Clerk
The City-County Building is located at 414 Grant St. downtown (map).

Saturday, April 29, 2017

May 21 proclaimed "Pittsburgh Chinese School 40th Anniversary Day" in the City of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh City Council issued a proclamation on April 19 naming May 21, 2017 "Pittsburgh Chinese School 40th Anniversary Day". The text of the proclamation:
WHEREAS, the Pittsburgh Chinese School, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1977 with a mission to teach and promote Chinese language, culture, and arts in the Pittsburgh community; and,

WHEREAS, located at Taylor Allderdice High School, the Pittsburgh Chinese School has 326 students and 73 faculty members and operates every Sunday afternoon during the school year; and,

WHEREAS, the Pittsburgh Chinese School curriculum focuses on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to prepare students for Chinese proficiency tests such as Advanced Placement and HSK, as well as Chinese culture and arts to provide students with an understanding of Chinese language, traditions, and society; and,

WHEREAS, the Pittsburgh Chinese School provides internship opportunities for University of Pittsburgh graduate level students specializing in foreign language education in the School of Education to help prepare them for teaching certification in the United States; and,

WHEREAS, over its 40-year history, the Pittsburgh Chinese School has been an active participant in community events such as the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Celebration, the Lunar New Year Parade in Squirrel Hill, the Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival; and,

WHEREAS, the Pittsburgh Chinese School embodies the City of Pittsburgh’s mission of building a more inclusive and welcoming city for all and attracting and retaining immigrants; and,

title
NOW, THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby recognize the valuable contributions of the Pittsburgh Chinese School over its 40-year history and does hereby celebrate its commitment to advancing the City’s drive for diversity and inclusion; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby declare May 21, 2017 to be “Pittsburgh Chinese School 40th Anniversary Day” in the City of Pittsburgh.
The school, located in Squirrel Hill, will host a reception from 2:15 to 5:30 pm on the 21st to commemorate the day and the anniversary.
In order to disseminate Chinese culture better and improve cultural communication in the community, we will host the fortieth anniversary celebration of The Pittsburgh Chinese School on May 21, 2017. On that day, we will demonstrate the school’s achievement through a display of student work and performance in the school. Hereby we sincerely invite you to attend our celebration and plan our future together.

Friday, April 28, 2017

"A Taste of Taiwan" fundraiser, May 25 in Oakland.



The Pittsburgh chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans will host "A Taste of Taiwan" fundraiser in Oakland on May 25.
Watch award-winning master chefs Li Yijun and Liao Yuxiang as they showcase the ancient techniques of Taiwanese cooking. On the menu—Taiwanese street food! Learn and WATCH the chefs focus on light, natural flavors and simple preparations including innovative ways to meet the demands of healthy vegetarian cooking. Then sit down to enjoy this special cuisine with your old friends and maybe meet some new ones!
. . .
The proceeds will help fund the annual OCA Free Medical & Dental Clinic and OCA Pittsburgh’s mission of advocacy, civic engagement, community outreach and cultural education programs.
Details and registration information are available through the OCA Pittsburgh page. The event runs from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 419 S. Dithridge St. (map).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Japanese animated film Your Name (君の名は) staying in Pittsburgh through (at least) May 4.



The record-setting Japanese movie Your Name (君の名は), which opened in Pittsburgh and throughout the US on April 7, will stay in the city through at least May 4 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 and showtimes are available from the Southside Works Cinema website. The shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles except the first screening of the day, which will be dubbed in English. The theater is located at 425 Cinema Drive in the SouthSide Works shopping center (map).

Free introductory Aikido class for adults, May 1 in Squirrel Hill.

East End Aikikai in Squirrel Hill is offering a free introductory Aikido class on May 1 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art that teaches coordination, awareness, and resilience, as well as self-defense principles. It is a good workout on its own, but is also good for complementing a yoga routine. For this class we welcome adults (ages 13 and up) of all abilities, with little to no previous martial arts experience.

We're located in the heart of the Squirrel Hill business district at 1918 Murray Ave across from Giant Eagle. The dojo is easily accessible by the 61c, 61d, 64, and 58 bus lines. There is a spacious pay parking lot directly behind the dojo, as well as street pay parking in all directions surrounding (free street parking starts at 6pm).

Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for exercise. Dressing rooms are available.
RSVP is requested at (412) 421-3686 or info at eastendaikido.com. East End Aikikai is located at 1918 Murray Ave. (map).

"Memory as Politics" conference, May 6 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh will host "Memory as Politics: An Interdisciplinary Conference" on Saturday, May 6. The conference will include a screening of selected interviews from "Cultural Revolution Ten", a collection of interviews on citizens' memories about the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
“Memory as Politics: An Interdisciplinary Conference” brings together experts on memory politics from various disciplines to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue in the field of memory politics. Questions to be discussed include:
  • What shapes a society’s memory of its political past?
  • What defines and shapes individual versus collective political memory?
  • How does our memory of the past shape our opinions about the present?
Furthermore, the conference provides support for Pitt library’s ongoing project “Cultural Revolution Ten.” The project collects video interviews of citizens’ memories about the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). This valuable project provides researchers of the Cultural Revolution new data and new insights. The conference will feature a presentation on the project and screen selected interviews in the panel on the Cultural Revolution.
Participants include Iza Ding, Kun Qian, and Dan Berkowitz of the University of Pittsburgh; Guobin Yang of the University of Pennsylvania; and Jeffrey Javed of Harvard University. The day's programming runs from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm in the second-floor Alcoa Room in the Barco Law Building (map), and a schedule is available online.
A selection of Korean airsoft guns recently turned up at Neighborhood Consignment in Greenfield.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Progress slow but steady on Japan-inspired crepe place in Squirrel Hill.


Photo on right via T-swirl Crêpe Facebook page.

Signage first went up for T-swirl Crêpe at 1714 Murray Ave. Squirrel Hill in May 2016. Little had changed to the exterior since then, as renovations were underway to the former banking and investments location that had been empty for over five years. But the paper is now off the windows!

The official site summarizes the concept behind T-Swirl Crepe:
The story of T-swirl Crepe starts thousands of miles away on the shores of Japan. The Japanese Crepe borrows from a western concept and modernized it into new level of versatility that you can gobble on the go. Building on this new concept, T-swirl started to research and have perfected the 100% gluten free rice flour batter, to craft a crispy thin chewy layer that embraces all the decadent condiments. T-swirl is synonymous with using the finest ingredients to construct a trendy/artistic crepe that arrives to your hand with incredible speed. We have standardized the process to give you a consistently clean and delicious crepe.
The chain has a Pittsburgh connection, as a NBC News story on the "undocumented entrepreneurs" notes:
In 2007, Andy Lin moved out of New York, travelling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to begin work at a hibachi restaurant where Jerry Lin was already employed, he said. Andy Lin proved a quick study, Jerry Lin recalled, earning the plaudits of the owner who asked him to partner to open another store two years later.

But despite earning more than $10,000 a month, Andy Lin said he began to feel his career plateauing after years of doing the same thing day in, day out.

That's when he noticed the frozen yogurt shop across from his restaurant in Pittsburgh and decided to take a chance, he said.

Hoping to ride the frozen-yogurt wave washing up in cities across the country, Andy Lin returned his share of the restaurant and left at the end of 2010, he said.

Monday, April 24, 2017

2008 Japanese movie Still Walking (歩いても 歩いても) at Carnegie Library in Oakland, May 7.



The Carnegie Library's main branch will show the 2008 Japanese movie Still Walking (歩いても 歩いても) as May's installment of International Cinema Sunday. A 2009 Roger Ebert review summarizes:
A dozen years ago, the prized possession of this family was Junpei, the eldest son, doted on by his parents and admired by his younger brother and sister. But Junpei drowned while saving a life, and every year the family gathers, as many Japanese families do, to visit his grave and memory.

These occasions are hated by Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), the second son. His father (Yoshio Harada) almost blames him for not being the one who died. On the drive to his home town at the seaside, Ryota tells his new wife Yukari (Yui Natsukawa) they must not even stay the night. This will be her first meeting with the parents; she is a widow with a young son.

The father is a retired physician, slowed with age, still marching joylessly on his daily walk. He stays mostly closed off in his office and greets his son brusquely. The mother has her doubts about this marriage; it is better to marry a divorced woman than a widow, because at least the divorce chose to leave her husband.

Also together for this day are Ryota's older sister and her husband. It is only slowly that we pick up the suppressed currents of feeling in the family; on the surface, the mother stays cheerful, although the old doctor's bitterness is obvious: The wrong son drowned.
The movie plays from 2:00 to 4:30 pm on May 7 in Classroom A, and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hong Kong movie Love Off The Cuff (春嬌救志明) in Pittsburgh, from April 28.



The 2017 Hong Kong romantic-comedy Love Off The Cuff (春嬌救志明) will be released worldwide on April 27, and will play at the AMC Loews Waterfront theater from the 28th. A Variety review on the third movie in the series:
[T]he movie packs Pang [Ho-cheung]’s trademark smart-ass humor, plenty of colloquial Cantonese wordplay, and a stream of cameos by dishy starlets — all of which should guarantee a robust box office in Hong Kong, but a meh reaction in China.

Pang, who started out as a whiz kid making off-color indie comedies, shot “Love in a Puff” in 2010 as a snarky rejoinder to a new anti-smoking law in Hong Kong. The protagonists, Sephora-lady Cherie (Miriam Yeung) and ad-man Jimmy (Shawn Yue) were chainsmokers who meet cute huddling over a garbage-can. The film became a sleeper hit, spawning the sequel “Love in the Buff,” which relocated events to Beijing as the couple kept falling in and out of love. By 2017, they have returned home from their expat stint and settled into the convenience of cohabitation. Neither wussy Jimmy nor chronically insecure Cherie feels ready to take things to the next stage.
The movie is in Cantonese with English subtitles. Tickets and showtime information is available via Fandango. 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.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Yayoi Kusama-inspired cookies by Yummyholic coming to Mattress Factory.



Yummyholic cookies crafted after the art by Yayoi Kusama will be available at the Mattress Factory - Museum of Contemporary Art starting this weekend. The yellow cookie replicates the "Pumpkin" installation at Benesse Art Site in Kawagawa prefecture, Japan; the red and white designs reference "Repetitive Vision", the 1996 installation at the Mattress Factory.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Management Science Associates hiring bilingual Chinese-English Marketing Research Analyst.

Management Science Associates, headquartered in one block from Bakery Square in Larimer, is hiring a bilingual Chinese-English Marketing Research Analyst. From the job posting:
Responsibilities
  • Maintain existing models, update existing reports and assist higher-level analysts with market research project activities;
  • Work closely with more experienced analysts to develop an understanding of MSA and the client’s marketing/sales operation;
  • Produce independent analytical work for projects where client responsibility remains with higher-level analysts or managers;
  • Communicate directly with subsidiary employees located in China on common project initiatives;
  • Translate documentation from Chinese to English;
  • Serve as a translator for clients visiting from China.


Required Skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Business, Mathematics, Statistics, Economics or related field;
  • Knowledge of statistics, mathematics and marketing;
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office products and statistical packages, including R and SAS;
  • Fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Applications can be submitted via the MSA site.

Oakland's Sushi Boat replaced by sushi, donut, and taco place.



Though the awning remains at 128 Oakland Ave., Oakland's Sushi Boat was recently replaced by Mount Everest, specializing in raw fish salad, sushi, tacos, and donuts.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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) at Hollywood Theater, 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.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

2015 movie The Beauty Inside (뷰티 인사이드) at Maridon Museum, April 20.


The Maridon Museum will show the 2015 movie The Beauty Inside (뷰티 인사이드) on April 20 as the second installment of this spring's Korean Film Series. A Los Angeles Times review summarizes:
Everyday, Woo-Jin wakes up with a new face. New face, new body, new eyesight, new shoe size, completely new outer-facing identity. Though he remains the same inside, the world sees him as an old woman, a middle-aged man, a young lady, a child.

Predictably, this makes relationships, particularly romantic ones, difficult. Although Woo-Jin enjoys waking up as a handsome young man, the relationships last for only one night. That is until he meets the lovely Yi-Soo (Hyo-ju Han) in a furniture store, and he imagines what it might be like to have a love that's more lasting.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and the museum requires reservations made at 724-282-0123. The Maridon Museum is an Asian art museum at 322 N. McKean St. in downtown Butler (map)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Menu and flyer for 2017 Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회), May 6 in Shadyside.



In late-March the Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh announced its 2017 Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회). Today there is a flyer and menu.



The highly-anticipated annual Korean food festival is in its 22nd year, and is held at 821 S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside (map).

K-pop, J-pop, C-pop dance performances at FRESA's Spring Music Countdown, April 14 at Pitt.



Pitt's Fresh Entertainment by Student Artists will host a night of K-pop, J-pop, and C-pop dance performances at its Spring Music Countdown on April 14. It runs from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the William Pitt Union's Assembly Room (map).

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Muslim Identities Among Uyghur Populations in China" at Pitt, April 14.



The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian & East European Studies and Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Rian Thum of Loyola University and his talk "Muslim Identities Among Uyghur Populations in China". The talk runs from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kizumonogatari Part 3 (傷物語III 冷血篇) at Hollywood Theater on April 15, 16, and 18; parts 1 and 2 on April 15 and 16.



Parts 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will be the only theater in Pennsylvania to show Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu (傷物語III 冷血篇 ) when it makes its US premiere in April. The theater will also show Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu (傷物語Ⅰ 鉄血篇) and Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu (傷物語II 熱血篇) on the 15th and 16th, both of which played at the Hollywood last year.

Tickets for the three Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu shows on April 15, 16, and 18 are available at the theater's website. Tickets for the two $15 double features of parts 1 and 2 are available there as well.

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.

"Science in Nationalist China: A Confrontation between Academia Sinica and Dr. Kishinouye’s Biological Expedition Along the Yangzi River" at Pitt, April 14.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will present its final colloquium of the semester on April 14, with M.A. candidate Aijie Shi and her talk "Science in Nationalist China: A Confrontation between Academia Sinica and Dr. Kishinouye’s Biological Expedition Along the Yangzi River".
My study addresses the institutionalization of science in the nation-building era of China through the establishment of Academia Sinica, the national academy of China, founded by the Nationalist Government in Nanjing in 1927. My presentation will focus on a confrontation between Academia Sinica and a Japanese biological expedition along the Yangzi River in 1929. As a result of the confrontation, Academia Sinica, a research institute, was empowered to promulgate scientific laws regulating foreign-funded research trips in China. The empowerment of Academia Sinica, I argue, was jointly shaped by four interrelated factors: the Japanese scientific expedition in Chinese territory, China’s nationwide anti-imperialism movements, Academia Sinica’s monopoly on representing the Nationalist government in the scientific realm of China, and the emergence of a new ideology of science in connection with modernity.
The talk starts at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Original Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) at Row House Cinema, closing night of Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival, April 13.



The 1995 Japanese animated movie Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) will play at the Row House Cinema on April 13, the last film of the second annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival. The distributor provides a summary:
In the year 2029, cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master”—a mysterious and threatening computer virus is capable of infiltrating human hosts. Working closely with her fellow agents from Section 9, the Major embarks on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity.

Don’t miss the movie the Examiner called “…one of the pioneering films of anime history.”
Tickets are $10 and are available online. Tickets for six other films showing through the week are available as well. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jennifer Lin and "From Missionary Cook to Counterrevolutionary: The Saga of a Chinese Christian Family" at Pitt, April 11.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host journalist and author Jennifer Lin and her talk "From Missionary Cook to Counterrevolutionary: The Saga of a Chinese Christian Family" on April 11.
Journalist Jennifer Lin examines the tumultuous past and present of Christianity in China through five generations of her family.  A former Beijing correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lin chronicles 150 years of family history in the recently-published "Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family" (Rowman & Littlefield).  The book includes a compelling cast: a doctor who treated opium addicts; a Penn-educated Chinese pastor; and the influential independent religious leader Watchman Nee, imprisoned after 1949 as a "counterrevolutionary".  Author Orville Schell called Lin's book "a beautifully written elegy to that generation of foreign educated, humanist and often Christian Chinese who had begun to form a cosmopolitan class in China that was comfortable on both sides of the East/West divide and might have successfully led China rom its cultural traditionalism into modernity."
See also the April 3 book review and profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Lin will also speak at Duquesne University on the 10th and will give a reading at St. Vincent's College the evening of Tuesday the 11th.

The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen part of 2017-18 Ten Evenings lecture series.


Via Nguyen's Facebook page.

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures just announced its lineup for the 2017-18 Ten Evenings series and Vietnamese-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen is among the season's ten speakers.
Bold, elegant, and fiercely honest, Nguyen’s debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016. His collection of stories, The Refugees, gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth.

The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another.

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America, His novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War is a nonfiction exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War.
Nguyen will speak on April 9, 2018, and tickets go on sale July 5. The lectures are held at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Seventh 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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

El Futuro Perfecto, 2016 film about young Chinese immigrant to Argentina, in Pittsburgh April 9 and 10.



The 2016 film El Futuro Perfecto will play in Pittsburgh on April 9 and 10, as part of the Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival and at Carlow University, respectively. The film festival's website describes:
El Futuro Perfecto tells the story of a young Chinese woman named Xiaobin who emigrates to Argentina. Sharing her sense of displacement, we follow Xiaobin as she attends Spanish classes, works her day job at a butcher shop, and struggles to pass through the language barrier in a new culture. A subtle love story permeates the surface of this quiet drama as Xiaobin’s journey of self-identification leads her to a crossroads where she must find the courage to determine her own future, rather than the future her family intends for her.
The April 9 screening at CMU is the festival's closing film and features a Q&A session with director Nele Wohlatz. It starts at 4:00 pm in the Jared L. Cohon University Center McConomy Auditorium (map). Tickets for the April 9 show are available online; tickets for April 10 are not yet available.

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side Of Dimensions (遊☆戯☆王 THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS) in Pittsburgh, April 14.




The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2016 movie Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side Of Dimensions (遊☆戯☆王 THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS) on April 14 at 4:00 pm. The movie opened at select Pittsburgh theaters in January.

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.

Second annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival at Row House Cinema, April 7 - 13.




The second annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival will run at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville 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 and showtime information is available is available online. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Nicky's Thai Kitchen North Hills location to open in mid-April.



The Nicky's Thai Kitchen coming to Mt. Nebo Road in the North Hills is planning on a mid-April opening. I photographed early signage back in January; earlier anticipated openings in February and March were delayed. The new restaurant will open at 1026 Mt. Nebo Rd. (map) in what was Recipes Remembered and, most recently, a Chinese restaurant.

Rashomon (羅生門) at Tull Family Theater, April 18.



The 1950 Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon (羅生門) will play at the Tull Family Theater in Sewickley on April 18 as part of it's Classic Tuesdays series. A synopsis of the film, from a 2002 Roger Ebert review:
The film opens in torrential rain, and five shots move from long shot to closeup to reveal two men sitting in the shelter of Kyoto's Rashomon Gate. The rain will be a useful device, unmistakably setting apart the present from the past. The two men are a priest and a woodcutter, and when a commoner runs in out of the rain and engages them in conversation, he learns that a samurai has been murdered and his wife raped and a local bandit is suspected. In the course of telling the commoner what they know, the woodcutter and the priest will introduce flashbacks in which the bandit, the wife and the woodcutter say what they saw, or think they saw--and then a medium turns up to channel the ghost of the dead samurai. Although the stories are in radical disagreement, it is unlike any of the original participants are lying for their own advantage, since each claims to be the murderer.
The movie starts at 7:00 pm and tickets are available online. he Tull Family Theater is located at 418 Walnut St. in Sewickley (map), about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Caissa Touristic to start charter flights from Pittsburgh to China starting in June, first steps toward non-stop service.

Caissa Touristic will start offering charter flights from Pittsburgh International Airport to China starting in June, according to a press release and the local papers. Pittsburgh will be the first city in North America serviced by Caissa Touristic. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The flights are a product of an agreement with the airport authority, which operates Pittsburgh International; the VisitPittsburgh tourism group; and Idea Foundry, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that works with Chinese families and students to encourage educational ties and investment.

In addition to bringing tourists from China, Caissa will sell tickets in the Pittsburgh region for travelers interested in flying to the country on the return trip.

“This is huge step forward for the future, particularly for nonstop air service to China. The charter-to-scheduled service model has been successfully adopted in other parts of the world,” said Christina Cassotis, airport authority CEO. “We are the first U.S. market to tap into China’s fast-growing tourism market with this type of business model, and it shows Pittsburgh to be an industry leader.”

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ambassador Gheewhan Kim and "Challenges in the Korean Peninsula: Nuclear, Trade and Economics", April 7 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Consul General of the Republic of Korea in New York Gheewhan Kim and his talk "Challenges in the Korean Peninsula: Nuclear, Trade and Economics" on April 7.
The Korean Peninsula currently faces many challenges. The biggest challenge is North Korea's continued development of nuclear and missile programs--ever-increasing threat not only to South Korea and its neighbors, but also the United States. In response, the United States and Korea agreed to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea. Opposing this alliance decision, China is taking a series of retaliatory measures against South Korea in trade, cultural exchanges, tourism, etc.

The sudden US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and growing nationalist sentiment has been increasing economic uncertainties in the Asia-Pacific region. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. What is a fair assessment of this agreement in terms of our common goals of economic growth and job creation?
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in the English Room (room number 144) on the first floor of the Cathedral of Learning (map). It is free and open to the public.

Inspired by Gamelan: Music by Indonesian and Western Composers, April 8 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Music will present "Inspired by Gamelan: Music by Indonesian and Western Composers" at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on April 8.
Pitt’s University Gamelan will present “Inspired by Gamelan: Music by Indonesian and Western Composers” on April 8th 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: Endang Sukandar and Endang Rukandi.
General admission tickets are $8.50 in advance or $12 at the door; Pitt students are free and non-Pitt students and senior citizens pay $5 in advance or $8 at the door. The Frick Fine Arts building is located in Oakland (map), across from Schenley Plaza and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Signage up for new Asian hair salon in Squirrel Hill.



Signage recently went up for InStyle Hair Salon, an Asian hair salon coming to 5815 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill. It was most recently a Kidz & Company children's clothing store.

New noodle restaurant coming to Squirrel Hill.



A March 31 building permit at 2103 Murray Ave. (map), what was most recently Sree's Foods, indicates a new noodle restaurant is coming to Squirrel Hill.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hit Japanese animated 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 and showtimes are available from the Southside Works Cinema website. The shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles except the first screening of the day, which will be dubbed in English. The theater is located at 425 Cinema Drive in the SouthSide Works shopping center (map).

How To: Asia - Chinese Papercutting at Pitt, April 5.



The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host the next in its How To: Asia series with a workshop on Chinese Papercutting on April 5.
As part of our How To: Asia series, Tiantian (Maggie) Lyu will teach students the folk art of papercutting.  Its history dates back more than two thousand years.  Participants will have a chance to create their own paper cuttings.
The event starts at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map).

Documentary The Eagle Huntress at CMU, April 6.



The Eagle Huntress, the 2016 documentary about a 13-year-old girl training to be an eagle hunter in Mongolia, will play at the Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival on April 6. A brief synopsis from the distributor:
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.

Set against the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl's quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film.

While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan's father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she's determined.
The movie starts at 7:00 pm in the Jared L. Cohon University Center McConomy Auditorium (map) and includes an interaction with a live falcon from the National Aviary. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Poet and calligrapher Huang Xiang at Shaler North Hills Library April 6, Maridon Museum April 8.



Chinese poet and calligrapher Huang Xiang will appear at Shaler North Hills Library on April 6, part of its weekly Art and Inspiration series. Writes the Tribune-Review:
During Xiang's library appearance on April 6 he might show “Century Mountain Morph,” a video showcasing “The Century Mountain Project” and some videos highlighting his life, Rock said. Host Alyssa Sineni, Art and Inspiration executive director of programming and community outreach, will facilitate a dialogue between Xiang and the audience and possibly share her own poetry.

“He somehow transcends the language barrier,” Rock said. “Like, people feel an emotional reaction when he performs his poetry. You don't have to understand Chinese, but we always have an English version read also.”
The event starts at 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public. The library is located at 1822 Mt. Royal Blvd. (map).

Huang will be at the Maridon Museum in downtown Butler on April 8 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. His work will be on display from the 8th through June 3. A $10 donation is suggested for the April 8 event.