Monday, March 31, 2014

Talks on bilingual education in Indonesia, disaster management in China, at 2014 IISE Symposium at Pitt, April 2.

The University of Pittsburgh's Institute for International Studies in Education will host two Asia-related presentations as part of its 2014 IISE Symposium Series on April 2.
* Anis Sundushiyah: Builingual Instruction in Indonesia's "Internationalized" Schools: Goals and Consequences
* Yuchi Song: The Policy Development of Disaster Management and Education in China: A Comparison between Policy Expectations and Actual Implementations in Earthquake Preparation Demonstration Schools (EPDS)
The presentations will be held in 5604 Posvar Hall (map). Both speakers are part of the Spring 2014 Asia Over Lunch series through the Asian Studies Center; Anis Sundusiya's March 20 talk was cancelled, though, and Yuchi Song's is scheduled for April 3 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in 4130 Posvar.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 5: Pittsburgh Sakura Project, Tomodachi Festival, and Origami Spring Social.

The Pittsburgh Sakura Project will hold its annual Spring Planting Day on April 5 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm near the North Park Boathouse (map). The Pittsburgh Sakura Project has been planting sakura (cherry blossom trees) and other trees at North Park since 2009, and will plant 37 next weekend. More details on the events of the day, via the group's website:
To start us off, there will be a little music, provided by Mr. Koichiro Suzuki, of the River City Brass Band, a speech, and a planting demonstration. There will also be a raffle, including a $500 discount coupon for roundtrip to Japan through Chicago courtesy of ANA (All Nippon Airways) and the Japan Association of Greater Pittsburgh.

Besides planting, we will spread mulch, water trees, and install deer-protection fences, so we can use volunteers of all strengths!

From 2:00 to 4:00, the Carnegie Library in Oakland (map) will host the third annual Tomodachi Festival, which serves as an introduction to Japanese culture for local children.
Tomodachi is a Japanese word meaning "friends." Help us celebrate the spirit of friendship through activities, art and treats that showcase Japan, its people and its rich history. Activities include kumihomo-making, origami, kamishibai theater, music, and kimono try-on.
And from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in room 527 of the William Pitt Union, the origami clubs from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University will hold an Origami Spring Social. The William Pitt Union is on the Pitt campus, one block west of the Carnegie Library in Oakland.

Rally for Taiwanese democracy, March 30 at CMU.

To coincide with rallies for Taiwanese democracy around the world, Taiwanese students at Carnegie Mellon University will be demonstrating at the CMU Fence at 1:00 pm on March 30. From a press release posted by organizer Sylvia Lin on the event's Facebook page:
On March 30, the Taiwanese community in Pittsburgh will join people from 17 countries and more than 49 cities around the world and assemble at Carnegie Mellon University to condemn state violence and defend Taiwan’s democracy while supporting those protesting at the Legislature in Taiwan.

The “Occupy Parliament” student movement in Taiwan is a protest in response to the democracy crisis surrounding the controversial Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement between Taiwan and China. Protesters have peacefully occupied the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan since March 18. Tens of thousands of people have participated in a peaceful sit-in. On March 23, some protesters occupied the executive building and riot police evicted them with brutal violence, beating unarmed students and citizens with batons and shields, after the police evicted media from the scene.

Supporters of Taiwan’s democracy will gather at Margaret Morrison A14 Lecture Hall of Carnegie Mellon University from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to condemn the state violence against peaceful protesters in Taiwan. We demand that (1) President Ma refrain from the use of police brutality; (2) the Cross-Strait Supervisory Agreement be enacted; and (3) civil society be included in dialogue regarding further actions by the government..
Please note the event has moved from Margaret Morrison to The Fence (next to item 7 on the campus map). According to the invitation that accompanied this release on the Facebook page, attendees are asked to observe the following:
Please wear in BLACK.
Please bring a sunflower or Taiwan's flag if you have one.
Please discuss and behavior in rational manner.
Please be on time (space is limited) and bring your own water.

Friday, March 28, 2014

"Voices of Asian Modernities: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Asian Popular Music" Conference at Pitt, April 4 - 6.

From April 4 through April 6, the University of Pittsburgh will host the "Voices of Asian Modernities: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Asian Popular Music" Conference. A brief summary from the conference website:
This conference aims to demonstrate how female entertainers, positioned at the margins of different intersecting fields of activities, created something hitherto unknown: they were artistic pioneers of new music, new cinema, new forms of dance and theater, and new behavior and morals. They moved from the margins to the mainstream and in their wake Asian pop cultures now have followed. These female performers were not merely symbols of times that were rapidly changing. Nor were they merely the personification of global historical changes. They were active agents in the creation of local performance cultures, of the newly emerging mass culture, and the rise of a region-wide and globally oriented entertainment industry. 

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together a group of scholars from a range of fields including Music, Literature, History, Anthropology, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, Performance Studies, and Asian Studies to properly historicize the artistic sounds, lyrical texts, visual images, and social lives of female performers in Asian popular music of the 20th century.
Several items are of particular relevance to this blog, including
* The documentary Kim Loo Sisters: Portrait in Four-Part Harmony and discussion with the director on April 4
* Kookmin University's Hee-sook Kim of Kookmin University presenting "From Female Dance Divas to K-pop Girl Groups: Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Popular Music of South Korea from the 1980s to the 2000s".
* "Female Passivity or Musical Democracy?: Making Music with Hatsune Miku" by Jennifer Milioto Matsue of Union College.
* The University of Toronto's Joshua D. Pilzer presenting "The 'Comfort Women' and the Voice of East Asian Modernity".
* "The Acoustic Ladies: Remediating 'Chinese' Femininity and (Inter)nationality in Early Talkies" by Yimin Wang of UC-Santa Cruz.
A complete conference program is available online, and the film and the presentations are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Short Peace (ショート・ピース) at Hollywood Theater, May 3 and 4.

The 2013 Japanese animated anthology film, Short Peace (ショート・ピース), is coming to the Hollywood Theater in Dormont (map) in May, and tickets for the two showings, May 3 at 1:00 pm and May 4 at 7:00 pm, are now available online.
This omnibus film called Short Peace, which consists of 4 short animated films. One of the films from Short Peace was nominated for this year's Academy Awards. Short Peace is also from the creator of AKIRA, Katsuhiro Otomo. in Japanse language with English subtitles
That nominee, Possessions, was in Pittsburgh earlier in the year. The complete film will have a nationwide release from April 18.

The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont, and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Silk Screen Asian-American Film Festival schedule posted.

The 2014 Silk Screen Asian-American Film Festival schedule was posted today, with times and locations on the Silk Screen website. The annual festival runs from April 26 through May 4, with screenings at four local theaters. Here's a quick look at the movies and short films of relevance to this blog:

A Time in Quchi (暑假作业), Taiwan; Bunta, China; Cheong, South Korea; Confession of Murder (내가 살인범이다), South Korea; The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭), Japan; Hide and Seek (숨바꼭질), South Korea; Mourning Recipe (四十九日のレシピ), Japan; Norte, End of History (Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan); Philippines; Touch of the Light (逆光飛翔), Taiwan; Trap Street, China; Unforgiven (許されざる者), Japan; Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い), Japan.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Short Peace (ショート・ピース) coming in May.

Short Peace (ショート・ピース), a four-part anime anthology by four directors, is coming to Dormont's Hollywood Theater the first weekend of May, writes its Facebook page. The 2013 film will be released nationwide from April 18, according to the distributor's website.

The Hollywood Theater frequently shows newish Japanese animated films on or near their US release date, including in recent memory: the Madoka Magica series, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, and Tiger & Bunny: The Rising.

Night Market at Pitt, March 28.

The Night Market presented by the Chinese American Students Association is back at the University of Pittsburgh this Friday, March 28, at 10:00 pm in room 548 of the William Pitt Union (map). From the event's Facebook page:
Join us for an awesome night filled with fun games, activities/crafts, prizes, and FREE food! Get to room 548 of the William Pitt Union as quickly as you can - you especially do not want to miss out on FREE CHINESE FOOD and BUBBLE TEA from Rose Tea Cafe!!!

Also, come out this Friday night to pie the current president Timothy Lee or current Public Relations Chair Jacky Chen! It will be $1 to pie either of them and the money will go towards fundraising for the ASA & Global Ties Formal!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) at Pitt, March 26.

The comedic drama Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) is the final of two films in 2014's Korean Film Festival held at the University of Pittsburgh, now in its 11th year. Wikipedia provides a brief synopsis:
Lee Yong-gu is a mentally challenged man with the intelligence of a 6-year-old, which is actually the age of his own daughter Ye-sung who is much smarter than her peers. The two of them lead a happy life while Yong-gu makes a living by working as a parking attendant at a local supermarket. But one day, when the police commissioner's young daughter dies in a strange accident, Yong-gu is the one who happens to find her. He is falsely accused and sentenced to death for abduction, sexual assault, and murder of a minor. Ye-sung is sent to a childcare institution and Yong-gu gets imprisoned and assigned to Cell No. 7, the harshest cell in a maximum security prison.
Also according to Wikipedia, Miracle in Cell No. 7 is the third-highest grossing film in Korean history, one spot ahead of Masquerade.

It will be shown at 4:00 pm in 4430 Posvar Hall (map), and is free and open to the public. The festival has been presented by the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures, the Asian Studies Center, and the East Asian Library.

"What Abenomics Means for the United States" lecture, March 27.

Seats are still available for a free lecture on March 27 downtown, "What Abenomics Means for the United States".
After a generation of stagnation, the Nikkei has rebounded, the yen has plummeted, and Japan's pernicious deflation seems to be ending. Is Asia's second largest economy finally addressing long-ignored problems? Or is this just competitive devaluation by a different name? Bill Adams gives his assessment of Japan's latest reform plans and their implications for American businesses and investors.
The lecture is by Bill Adams of The PNC Financial Services Group, and is part of the ongoing MEPPI Japan Lecture Series, presented by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania. It's from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Allegheny HYP Club (map), and includes light refreshments. Registration is required and can be completed on the JASP website.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Night Market at CMU, March 29.

Keelung Night Market, Taiwan by Shenghun Lin (Creative Commons).

Two Carnegie Mellon University student organizations, Awareness of Roots in Chinese Culture (ARCC) and Taiwanese Students Association (TSA), will present their annual Night Market on March 29. Says the event's Facebook page:
It will be a night full of awesome food and games (including karaoke!). Every year many of CMU's multicultural organizations come together in this celebration of food, snacks, and games from all over the world. The event is an homage to street "night markets" that are popular in Asia.
It starts at 10:00 pm and is held in Kirr Commons in the University Student Center (number 30 on the campus map).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

At the Japanese Garden in Shadyside.

A few photos in the Japanese Healing Garden at Shadyside Hospital earlier this month. Reads a plaque at the entrance:
This garden is a gift from Dr. Kazuo Kodera in honor of nurses. It is a place for health care providers to think about our friends around the world and to reflect on the meaning of our work, which i to care for one another. It is a place to find new friendships, to find new hope, and to find peace.

We hope you enjoy your time here.

September 2005

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Taiko Spring Concert, March 23.

Pittsburgh Taiko will hold its Spring Concert on March 23 at 2:00 pm at the University of Pittsburgh's Bellefield Hall (map).
Pittsburgh Taiko performs wadaiko, a form of Japanese group drumming. We use Japanese drums and play regional arrangements from both Japan and the US, as well as original compositions!

Admission is once again free for university (Pitt, CMU, etc.) students! Bring all your friends! Invite all your friends! Tell everyone you know! Tell strangers!

For non-students there is a recommended donation of $5. This money goes to support us for future concerts, as well as for lectures and workshops to teach people about wadaiko.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"The Myth of Homogeneity: Immigration and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century Japan" lecture, March 18.

The second installment of the "Japan in the Broader Context of Asia" lecture series is "The Myth of Homogeneity: Immigration and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century Japan”, by David Kenley of Elizabethtown College. The presentation begins at 6:00 pm in room 4217 Posvar Hall (map), and is followed by light refreshments and a networking reception.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Masquerade (광해: 왕이 된 남자), Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) at Pitt's 2014 Korean Film Festival, starting March 19.

The historical drama Masquerade (광해: 왕이 된 남자) and the comedic drama Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) comprise this year's Korean Film Festival held at the University of Pittsburgh, now in its 11th year. Masquerade will play on March 19, and Miracle in Cell No. 7 on March 26.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Matsuri at Carnegie Mellon University, March 28.

Matsuri, the annual spring festival hosted by Carnegie Mellon University's Japanese Student Association and Japan@CMU Alliance, will be held this year on Friday, March 28. An overview from the event's Facebook page:
Japanese Student Association is proud to announce its biggest event of the year: Matsuri. Join us in celebrating aspects of Japanese food, culture and society. We will be hosting the event at Merson Courtyard outside of the University Center on Friday March 28th, from 4:30 to 8:30 PM. While you enjoy these acts, traditional Japanese decorations and festival games, feel free to eat a variety of foods from our Food Booths such as Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, Karaage and a variety of other Japanese foods! Small carnival games will be available, and J@CMU's origami and cooking groups will also be in attendance to further promote Japanese culture at CMU.

All profits go to recovery efforts for the Minato Middle School in Japan which is still suffering from the earthquake and tsunami two years ago. You contribution is valuable and we hope to send a sizable amount of supplies this year, as we did last year. For more information regarding donations please go to this site:

Thank you for your time and we hope to see you there!
Last year the event raised $3,027 for the school completely destroyed in 2011.

As the logo above shows, it runs from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm and is held at the CMU University Center and Merson Courtyard (campus map). Food and games require tickets, which can be purchased in advance online or in Merson Courtyard. Additional information is available on the festival's website.

Akira Kurosawa film Ran (乱) at Maridon Museum, March 20.

The Maridon Museum will show the 1985 Akira Kurosawa film Ran (乱) on March 20 as part of its 2014 Spring Film Series.

"Bilingual Education in Indonesia's International Schools" lecture at Pitt, March 20.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will host Anis Sundusiyah of the School of Education and her lecture "Bilingual Education in Indonesia's International Schools" on March 20 as part of the Asia Over Lunch lecture series. It takes place at 12:00 pm in room 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map) and is free. Information about past and upcoming lectures in the series this term are printed on the flyer above.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vietnamese film The Scent of Green Papaya at Pitt, March 18.

The University of Pittsburgh's Global Ties will show the 1993 Vietnamese-language movie The Scent of Green Papaya (Mùi đu đủ xanh) on March 18 as part of its "Global Spotlight: Vietnam" series of activities in March. From a 1994 Roger Ebert review:
Here is a film so placid and filled with sweetness that watching it is like listening to soothing music. "The Scent of Green Papaya" takes place in Vietnam between the late 1940s and early 1960s, and is seen through the eyes of a poor young woman who is taken as a servant into the household of a merchant family. She observes everything around her in minute detail, and gradually, as she flowers into a beautiful woman, her simple goodness impresses her more hurried and cynical employers. The woman, named Mui, is an orphan - a child, when she first comes to work for the family. She learns her tasks quickly and well, and performs them so unobtrusively that sometimes she seems almost like a spirit. But she is a very real person, uncomplaining, all-seeing, and the film watches her world through her eyes. For her, there is beauty in the smallest details: A drop of water trembling on a leaf, a line of busy ants, a self-important frog in a puddle left by the rain, the sunlight through the green leaves outside the window, the scent of green papaya.
The film will be shown on the 6th floor of the William Pitt Union from 7 to 9 pm, and is free for those with a valid Pitt student ID card.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"'Bound Together' Book Club: The Things They Carried" at Carnegie Museum of Art, March 13.

Coming to the Carnegie Museum of Art, March 13:
Join us for a discussion of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried as we take a closer look at Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Le’s installation Light and Belief: Sketches of the Life from the Vietnam War. Call Lucy Stewart at 412.622.3222 to receive a complimentary copy of the book.
The Things They Carried is the Community College of Allegheny County's selection for the 2014 Big Read campaign, and events pertaining to it were and are scheduled throughout the month of March (.pdf file).

"Katsuhiro Otomo's Manga & Animation" at CMU, March 20.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Art shares this upcoming talk on the works of Katsuhiro Otomo by Kei Suyama of Tokyo Polytechnic University on March 20. The College of Fine Arts building is labelled number 5 on this campus map (.pdf).

Multicultural Night at O'Hara Elementary School, March 20.

If there are children in your family they might enjoy visiting O'Hara Elementary School (map) in the Fox Chapel Area School District for its Multicultural Night on March 20. There will 20 culture booths including Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, and China; a bunch of local performers; and vendors with Korean, Turkish, and Argentinian food. It will run from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the School Commons Area.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pittsburgh almost built an "Asia on the Allegheny".

From a February 20, 1989 Pittsburgh Press article.

Looking online for something else brought us to articles in local papers about a late-1980s plan to build an "Asian Trade Center" on the North Shore, part of a redevelopment effort that would soon bring the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center to the area. In 1988 and 1989, the plan was to construct apartments, hotels, and Asian retail in the blocks between on what is now the site of the Morgan at North Shore Apartments.

Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story at Melwood Screening Room, March 13.

The Japan-American Society of Pennsylvania will present the film Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story at the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland (map) on March 13. Taylor Anderson taught English in Japan for three years and died in the March 11, 2011 tsunami at age 24. A brief summary of the film from JQ Magazine:
[Filmmaker Reggie] Life opens the window for the viewer to glimpse the life of Taylor Anderson (Miyagi-ken, 2008-11) through personal accounts from her loved ones. Laced with emotional reflections, vivid photos and jovial home movies, the film walks the viewer through Taylor’s 24 years on earth and untimely end caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. In light of the tragedy, the film sends a message of hope, optimism and encouragement for all to follow their hearts.
The movie starts at 7:30, and tickets are $2.

Photography exhibition "My Odd Journey" at Imagebox Productions, March 7 through 31.

A photography exhibition by Shanning Wan titled "My Odd Journey" will open today at Imagebox Productions in Garfield (map).
Shanning Wan’s travel photography throughout China and the US which touches upon topics such as Muslims in China, women, architecture, found objects, and more.
The opening reception runs from 6 pm to 9 pm and is part of Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn. The exhibit runs through March. Wan was last on this blog last summer with her Northwest Chinese Pop-Up Restaurant.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Pirates pitcher complains to press about life in Korea.

Coverage by OhMyNews. "Korean life was terrible" . . . Returning foreign player's "criticisms".

This off-season the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Adam Wilk, a pitcher formerly in the Detroit Tigers organization and who pitched the 2013 in the Korean Baseball Organization. Some Korean news outlets have noticed the comments Wilk made about his time in Changwon to the USA Today and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cathedral of Learning on cover of 미국 대학의 힘.

Pitt's Cathedral of Learning and Stephen Foster Memorial are on the cover of a Korean book published last year by Sanzini Books, 미국 대학의 힘, which translates to The Strengths of American Colleges. The book was released on December 16, 2013, was written by Hak-soo Mok of Pusan National University, and looks at services available to students, professors, and applicants.

The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ) now at Southside Works.

The latest Hayao Miyazaki film The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ) is currently playing at Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works Cinema (map). From a TIME magazine review last month:
The Wind Rises — its title taken from a line in Paul Valéry’s poem “The Graveyard by the Sea” (“The wind is rising! We must try to live!”) — weaves a tender, doomed love story into two volcanic decades of Japan’s history, from 1918 to the end of the ’30s. Here are indelible images of the 1923 Kanto earthquake and the firestorms that devoured whole cities and killed 140,000 people. Here is the Depression that crippled Japan while its government poured more money into its military.

The movie is really a double biopic: of Horikoshi, whose life it follows from his youth to his work at Mitsubishi, with a brief postwar coda; and of the author Tatsuo Hori, whose 1937 novel The Wind Has Risen tells the story of a tubercular girl at a sanatorium. The life and works of Hori, who died of TB in 1953 at age 48, inform the character of Naoko Satomi, the young woman who becomes Jiro’s wife.
The version currently playing in Pittsburgh, and the one released nationwide on February 28, is dubbed in English. Showtimes for March 4, 5, and 6 are 1:40 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:20 pm, and 10:10 pm.

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