Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pitt signs MOU with Indonesian College of Performing Arts.

The University of Pittsburgh today announced a collaboration with the Indonesian College of Performing Arts,
launching a partnership designed to further the two schools' common objectives of research and study in the field of Indonesian music and culture.
From the university release:
Department of Music Chair Andrew Weintraub, who has collaborated on projects with the Indonesian College for 30 years, says the partnership will bring about an exchange of students and creative artists and will enhance the exploration and understanding of Sundanese culture and performing arts, a core strength of Pitt's ethnomusicology program.

"Stronger relationships lead to better understanding of cultural diversity, and vice versa," he said. "A formal agreement between Pitt and the Indonesian College will facilitate better communication between the two schools. Our goal is to generate collaborative research projects, a student exchange at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and, eventually, the development of a Pitt in Indonesia study abroad program."
Expect a post here shortly on the October 11 performance "Music and Dance of West Java: The Past, Present, and Future of Sundanese Performing Arts" at Pitt, hosted by the Department of Music.

Korean Conversation Club at IUP, Tuesday afternoons.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania now hosts a weekly Korean Conversation Club. "Learn Korean Through K-Pop, K-Drama, and More" said the department release that advertised the first meeting on September 23.
The Korean Conversation Club meets every Tuesday afternoon. The club is open to beginners as well as to the public.
The next meeting is October 7. The class runs from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in 103 Wallwork Hall (map). Korean is currently offered at IUP as a Critical Language, in less-formal tutoring sessions led by graduate students or other native Korean speakers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Japanese short "The Great Rabbit (グレートラビット )" part of Ann Arbor Film Festival tour stop in Oakland, October 3 and 4.


The seven-and-a-half minute short "The Great Rabbit (グレートラビット )" by Atsushi Wada is among the short films that comprise the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which makes a stop in Pittsburgh on October 3 and 4.
Once we called the noble, profound and mysterious existence The Great. We have moved with the time, our thought and consciousness has changed. And yet what makes us still keep calling it The Great?
The short films will be shown at the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland (map) as part of Pittsburgh's RADical Days. "The Great Rabbit" is part of Program B, which runs on Friday the 3rd at 9:15 pm and Saturday the 4th at 7:30 pm. Admission is free.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chinese film Shower (洗澡) at Maridon Museum, October 9.

The Maridon Museum will show the 1999 Chinese film Shower (洗澡) on October 9. A 2000 Robert Ebert review summarizes:
The customers of the bathhouse in "Shower" hardly seem to spend any time anywhere else. The old men are there from morning to night, bathing, soaking, being rubbed, playing cards and staging fights to the death with their pet crickets (one feeds ant eggs to his champion; his opponent accuses him of using "steroids"). Master Liu has run this bathhouse since time immemorial and brushes off his son's suggestions that he retire: "I've done this all of my life and I like doing it!" The son is Da Ming, a successful businessman who lives in a distant city, but has returned because of an alarming postcard he received from his retarded brother Er Ming. The postcards seem to indicate that old Liu is dead or dying, but in fact Liu is presiding, as he has for decades, over the closed world of the bathhouse, where steam and ancient customs wall out the changing ways of modern Beijing.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and is presented by Dr. Armand Policicchio, an Associate Professor of Asian Studies at Slippery Rock University. The Maridon, an Asian art museum that periodically shows Asian movies, is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fukuda closing on September 28.

Fukuda announced Thursday that it will be closing its doors on Sunday, September 28.
I’ll keep this fairly short: We opened almost exactly two years ago, heart and soul full of promise and excitement with a singular mission – To bring the most authentic sushi experience to Pittsburgh.

I’m proud to admit that we’ve achieved that, and more.

I can’t thank everyone enough who came into our doors over the past two years, supporting our mission and philosophy. I’m grateful to our staff, our team of dedicated chefs and front of house, and to all who’ve contributed in a meaningful way.

However, Fukuda will close its doors this Sunday, 9/28/14. So join us this weekend! On Sunday, we’ll have free beer, and will remain open until we sell out of fish.

Fukuda may re-open in the coming months ahead in another location, so we’ll keep everyone updated on a potential new location as it develops.
Fukuda is one of the best, most authentic Japanese and sushi restaurants in Pittsburgh; the closing is a big loss.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pittsburgh Taiko at Carnegie Library in Oakland, September 28.

As part of the World Kaleidoscope series, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main branch in Oakland will host Pittsburgh Taiko on Sunday, September 28.
Pittsburgh Taiko is dedicated to bringing Japanese group taiko drumming (kumidaiko) to the city of Pittsburgh. Open to anyone interested in learning about the art form, we seek to educate members of the community about taiko and about Japanese culture through performances and outreach activities.
The presentation will take place from 2 to 3 pm in the First Floor Quiet Reading Room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mochi Making at CMU, September 26.

Carnegie Mellon University's Japanese Student Association presents Mochi Making on Friday, September 26.
"Mochi" is a type of traditional Japanese rice cake, made from the traditional short-grain rice "Mochigome", and typically prepared in a ceremony called "Mochitsuki". This year, the JSA will be teaching students how to make their own Mochi, and holding a competition to see who can make the best batch.

Please note that this event is open to all people, whether or not you are in the JSA, or even a member of the Carnegie Mellon Community, so if you are interested, make sure to be there!
It'll be held in 5409 Wean Hall (campus map) and will start at 4:30 pm.

Pitt lecturer named Resident Director of Year-in-Japan program at Konan University from 2015.

The University of Pittsburgh Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures writes that lecturer Stephen Luft will head the Year-in-Japan program at Konan University in Kobe, Japan, from next year.
Lecturer Stephen Luft has been named resident director of the Konan-Illinois Year-in-Japan program. His appointment will begin in July 2015. Known as the Konan Program at Pitt, it is a full-year residential program in Kobe for students from consortium universities in the U.S. As resident director, he will teach one course per semester and oversee all aspects of this study abroad program.
The University of Pittsburgh has been a charter member of the Year-in-Japan program at Konan University for decades; the May 1983 Pitt magazine profiled several Pitt students who participated.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Korean film Poetry (시) at Maridon Museum, September 26.

The Maridon Museum will show the 2010 Korean film Poetry (시) on September 26. A Korea Times review gives a plot summary:
Yun [Jeong-hie] plays the role of a grandmother who lives in the suburbs with her teenage grandson. Though in her 60s, she is still naïve, curious and charming like a little girl, and one day becomes immersed in the world of poetry. She begins to explore the beauty of the small things in everyday life as she builds her craft, but when a terrible, unexpected incident occurs she discovers the dark side to things.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and is presented by Dr. Bill Covey of Slippery Rock University's Department of English. The Asian art museum is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Lecture "Design Thinking: Japanese Style" at Pitt, September 25.

The University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center and International Business Center will present "Design Thinking: Japanese Style", a lecture and book-launch tour stop by Dr. Robert Tobin, on September 25. An overview, from the University Center for International Studies:
What are the elements of Japanese aesthetics and design?
How is the Japanese approach to creativity different from the American approach? How can you apply these principles to your daily life?

Dr. Robert "Bob" Tobin, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Business and Commerce at Keio University in Japan, and former director of the Program on Creativity and Change will be speaking on the Japanese approach to creativity and design. Dr. Tobin has over 20 years of experience in organizational consulting and training with global business leaders. His presentation style is strongly focused on audience participation and designed to help participants change their world view and spark their creativity.
The talk is from 12:30 to 2:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NAAAP September Dinner Club at Fukuda, September 25.

The Pittsburgh chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals [NAAAP] is holding a dinner club meeting on Thursday, September 25, at Fukuda.
Come and join NAAAP PGH on September 25, at 6:00pm for a night of great food and conversation at Fukuda on Liberty ave. in Bloomfield!
More information available at the event's Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another Northwest Chinese Pop-up Restaurant Event at Sonny's Tavern, September 20.

Northwest Chinese Pop-up Restaurant will host another event on September 20 at Sonny's Tavern. The person slash group exists to "strive to bring Northwestern Chinese culture to Pittsburgh through its authentic food, arts, music and crafts." This fall's first event was last weekend.

The event runs from 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm at Sonny's Tavern in Bloomfield (map), and registration can be done online.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New home for Chinatown bus station.

As of September 1, the Pittsburgh Chinatown bus station moved to 1613 Penn Ave. (map) in the Strip District from its former location on Meyran Ave. in Oakland. Not to be confused with Pittsburgh's Chinatown, which used to be downtown off Grant Street. The surviving buildings are along Court Place (map).

Former home of the local Hop Sing Association (協勝公會) branch.

Panel Discussion "China's Entrepreneurs" at Pitt, September 19.

The University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center and the Pitt International Business Center are hosting a panel discussion on September 19 called "China's Entrepreneurs" with presenters Mr. Zhao Bin (Chairman, Xi'an Kitamura Machine Works Co. Ltd.) and Megan Xi (Director, Blue Water Growth.). An overview:
Over the past decade China’s rapid economic growth and diversification has powered that country’s economy past a stage of primary industrialization into a new era of creativity and manufacturing. The country’s entrepreneurs are playing a leading role in developing businesses, seeking new markets, and creating products. Please join us in a discussion of China’s new entrepreneurs and how their business decisions are changing the global economy.

Refreshments will be served.
The discussion begins at 1:00 pm and is held in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map).

Language exchange and conversation partner programs in Pittsburgh this fall.

There are a good number of free language classes in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Libraries: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, English as a Second Language, among others (search events on the CLP webpage for details). If you're looking for one-on-one exchanges, or just want to chat with someone from a different country, many local universities and language institutes run language exchange and conversation partner programs to help their international students share quality time with native English speakers, time that can be surprisingly hard to come by. A new semester means renewed need for conversation partners, and if you're in Pittsburgh you can register now with the University of Pittsburgh English Language Institute or contact Duquesne University's ESL program or Chatham University's English Language Program.

Schools in other areas have these outreach programs, too, so Google around. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, and the University of Pennsylvania come to mind. It's a great way to help someone new to your city and to make a meaningful experience for both of you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

No Name Painting Association at Global Shift Festival, September 20.

The Global Shift Festival, at Point Park University from September 18 through September 21, will show the 2013 Chinese-American documentary No Name Painting Association on September 20. The 23-minute documentary is, says imdb,
about the Wuming (No Name) group of renegade Chinese artists who painted forbidden images during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and pioneered the Contemporary Chinese Art Movement.
The documentary is paired with Finding Mike, and the pair start at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $5 and are available online.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"A Taste of Korea" at Maridon Museum, September 17 - 20.

Butler's Maridon Museum will present "A Taste of Korea" from September 17 through 20, with talks and presentations on Korean people, culture, and customs. Highlights include two talks Dr. Kang-Yup Na of Westminster College and one by the author of Love Beyond Measure: Memoir of a Korean War Bride. Tickets are $3 per day or $6 for a four-day pass.

The Asian art museum is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Japanese film Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い) returning to Pittsburgh in November.

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont announced it would be showing the Japanese film Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い) from November 13 through 16. A summary, from The Japan Society:
A tribute to old-school yakuza cinema and shoe-string amateur filmmaking based on a screenplay Sion Sono wrote 17 years ago. The Fuck Bombers, a group of film geeks led by Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa), try to turn brawler Sasaki (Tak Sakaguchi) into their new Bruce Lee but are nowhere near making their action masterpiece. An ambush set up by a yakuza clan comes to a gory end in the home of boss Muto (Jun Kunimura) with only one man, Ikegami (Shinichi Tsutsumi), surviving. When Mitsuko, the Mutos' young daughter, makes an unexpected entrance, Ikegami is instantly smitten. Ten years later, she has become one sultry mean mess of a girl (Fumi Nikaido). Determined to make Mitsuko a star, her father gives Hirata a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make his movie, with the yakuza as film production crew and the Bombers joining the "real" action--the ultimate sword battle between the Muto and Ikegami clans.
The movie was first in Pittsburgh last spring as part of the 2014 Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Northwest Chinese Pop-up Restaurant at Sunny's Tavern, September 13.

Northwest Chinese Pop-up Restaurant will host an event on September 13 at Sonny's Tavern. The person slash group exists to "strive to bring Northwestern Chinese culture to Pittsburgh through its authentic food, arts, music and crafts." From this Saturday's event page:
We are now starting to host popups at Sonny's Tavern. Come out and try our ***Authentic Chinese Green Bean Jello Stir Fry***one of the most popular Chinese muslim dish in Xi’an! ***Beijing-style Cucumber Salad***a common dish that goes with beer for sleepless nights in Beijing. We’ll also serve ***California Rolls*** which can never let you down!
You may remember the first pop-up restaurant in June 2013. The event runs from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm at Sonny's Tavern in Bloomfield (map), and registration can be done online.

Conversational Chinese and Chinese Culture at Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Thursday evenings.

A Conversational Chinese and Chinese Culture group meets at Mt. Lebanon Public Library Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:45 pm.
Join us every Thursday to practice conversational Chinese and explore Chinese culture. All levels welcome.

Participants are asked to donate $30, prorated, to Mt. Lebanon Public Library for each ten-week session. Please check the Event Calendar for potential schedule changes.
The library is located at 16 Castle Shannon Blvd. (map).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gallery Exhibition: Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) opens September 15 in Squirrel Hill.

The exhibition "Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941): An Exhibit of Storyboards and Artifacts" will run in Squirrel Hill for a month from September 15. An excerpt from the Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the exhibition's sponsors:
The story of Jewish refugees in China during World War II is something that relatively few people understand or know about in the overall history of Jewish immigration and settlement. As many as 16,000 Jews fled Europe during WWII to live and work in Shanghai. This exhibit is in collaboration with the Jewish Refugees Museum of Shanghai and consists of 45 storyboards outlining the process of immigration from Europe to China, the various struggles and cultural adaptions, and the personal stories of survivors and their families. The exhibit offers a unique perspective on the lives and struggles of individuals who lived in China during the war and emphasizes the cross-cultural intersections of both Chinese and the Jewish settlers during a chaotic and significant historic period.
The exhibition runs through October 15 at The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh (map). Reservations are required for the September 17 opening reception with keynote speaker Dr. Steve Hochstadt of Illinois College.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Camp Konnichiwa at Carnegie Library, Saturdays from September 20.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Main Branch will again host Camp Konnichiwa on Saturdays this fall starting from September 20.
Konnichiwa is a popular greeting in Japanese. Children will learn some words and songs in the Japanese language during this four-week program.
Each free session is thirty minutes long, from 10:30 to 11:00 am. It is presented by Atsuya Yoshida of Taylor Allderdice High School and the library's Bridge to Japan members. The Main Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ARCC presents Late Night: Mid-Autumn Festival, September 6 at CMU.

Awareness of Roots in Chinese Culture [ARCC] will present its annual Late Night: Mid-Autumn Festival on September 6 at Carnegie Mellon University. It will run from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am in the Connan Room of the Cohon University Center (campus map). As the flyer says, there will be free mooncakes, games, and more.

Mandarin for Beginners class at Carnegie Library Squirrel Hill, from September 10.

A free Mandarin for Beginners course is starting at Carnegie Library Squirrel Hill from September 10.
Learn Mandarin from a native speaker right at the Library! Class will be held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.
In addition to this new class, there is still a free Chinese Conversation Club and a free Chinese for Beginners course at the Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library.

The starts at 6:30 pm; registration is preferred and can be done online at each class's page. The library is located at 5801 Forbes Ave. (map) on the corner of Forbes and Murray Aves.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All-you-can-eat LA 갈비 coming to Oakland in October.

Update: A hoax.

Signage recently went up in Oakland for an all-you-can-eat Korean galbi place set to open in October. LA 갈비 is advertising its 19.99 AYCE offering at 4611 Forbes Ave. (map), which until recently was the home of the Pather Hollow Inn. Its set to open on October 15.

Galbi is a Korean dish of thinly-sliced beef or pork, often wrapped and eaten with other side dishes like lettuce, onions, and kimchi. It is ubiquitous in South Korean nightlife, and turns up on a couple of menus in Pittsburgh restaurants.

Free Japanese classes at Carnegie Library East Liberty resume September 10.

The Carnegie Library branch in East Liberty periodically offers free Japanese classes, and the latest session will begin on September 10.
A fun way to learn a new language! Learn conversational Japanese in a casual setting. All ages and abilities welcome.
The class runs from 6:30 to 7:30 pm every other Wednesday, and the library is located at 130 S. Whitfield Street, about four blocks northwest of Whole Foods.

The Oakland branch still offers several free Japanese classes: Japanese For Beginners on the second and fourth Mondays of each month; Japanese II for high-beginners and intermediate learners on the second and fourth Tuesdays; and a Japanese conversation club for intermediate and advanced learners, also on the second and fourth Tuesday. Visit the library's event page and search "Japanese" (or Korean, or Chinese) for more information.

More Korean food coming to Oakland.

Korean-language signage recently went up advertising 갈비 (galbi) in Oakland at the spot formerly occupied by the Panther Hollow Inn (map) near the corner of Forbes Ave. and Craig St. The meat dish is ubiquitous in Korea and turns up on a couple menus in Pittsburgh. The restaurant will join Korea Garden, at the other side of the Oakland, as the second Korean restaurants in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Born Out of Place book launch at Pitt, September 11.

The University of Pittsburgh's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program will host the stateside book launch for Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Migration by professor Nicole Constable. The talk will be held on September 11 from 4:00 to 5:30 in room 602 of the Cathedral of Learning. A summary from the GS&W webpage:
Nicole Constable is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the director of the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her latest book, Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Migration was co-published by the University of California Press and Hong Kong University Press, and had its first official launch in Hong Kong in June. At this University of Pittsburgh book launch, Constable will speak on her work, and Shalini Puri (Department of English) and Lara Putnam (Department of History) will respond.

Based on research and interviews conducted in 2011 and 2012, the book tells the stories of Indonesian and Filipino migrant women, their South Asian, African, Chinese, and Western expatriate partners, and their Hong Kong–born babies. The main focus is on the often painful and poignant struggles of women as they consider abortion, adoption, keeping a child, remaining in Hong Kong as “illegal” overstayers, or returning home as single mothers. This ethnography provides insight into global problems of mobility, family, gender, and citizenship, and points to the consequences, creative responses, melodramas, inequalities, and tragedies of labor and migration policies.

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