Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Drop Box at Cinemark North Hills, March 3 - 5.

The Cinemark North Hills theater will show The Drop Box, a 2015 documentary on Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his work with Korean orphans. The title refers to the controversial "baby box" (베이비박스) at Lee's church in Seoul where unwanted newborns may be left anonymously. A synopsis of the documentary produced in part by Focus on the Family:
The Drop Box tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect the most vulnerable members of society. It is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical, emotional and financial toll associated with providing refuge to orphans that would otherwise be abandoned on the streets. But The Drop Box movie is also a story of hope—a reminder that every human life is sacred and worthy of love.
The Drop Box will run at 7:00 pm on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Tickets are available at the Cinemark website. The theater is located at the McCandless Crossing shopping center on McKnight Road (map), roughly 10 miles north of the city.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Look for Pink Box in Oakland later this year.

Last year, word on the street was Squirrel Hill's Pink Box---a Taiwanese "Asian-European fusion bakery"---would open a location in Oakland in late-2014 or early-2015. Ownership now says to look for it much later in the year, as the bakery will not be moving into the converted house behind K-Box but will instead be knocking it down and constructing a new, modern building incorporating shipping containers at 4527 Winthrop St. (map). An October Post-Gazette article says the Oakland spot will be four times the size of the Squirrel Hill location.

Honam University "Speech Pioneers" visit Pittsburgh.

via Honam University

A group of four students from the Speech & Language Pathology department at Honam University (호남대학교) in Gwangju visited the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University from February 1 through February 16 to view local developments in the speech pathology field.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ten Minutes (10 분), I Am Here (我就是我) part of CMU International Film Festival.

The lineup for the 2015 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival was announced this afternoon, and the South Korean movie Ten Minutes (10 분) and the Chinese I Am Here (我就是我) are among the films that comprise it. 10 Minutes will play on April 8 at 7:00 pm. A summary from the Busan International Film Festival, where the movie premiered in 2013:
A young man preparing for an exam to work for a broadcasting company starts to work as an intern and a junior government employee. He is only there to make some money before finding a real job, but when his boss tells him that he wants to hire him full-time, he is tempted. After going through the interview and getting congratulated from others in the office, he is shocked that the full-time position is in fact given to someone else. An older co-worker tells him that it was a set-up, and the young man decides to fight the decision. The fight for justice is not as easy as his co-worker says. The film cruelly looks on as the man stoops lower and lower, from an intern loved by both co-workers and managers, to a disgruntled employee. He is at a crossroads. Should he stay a good, social employee, or start anew as a straggler?
And the Toronto International Film Festival profiles I Am Here, which plays on March 27 at 7:15 pm:
Every week, millions of viewers tune in to China's most popular singing competition, Super Boy. Tens of thousands of aspiring male singers audition every year for this prestigious talent show, but only ten make it into the months-long competition. Fan Lixin's documentary I Am Here immerses us in the finalists' gruelling, adrenalizing experience, even as it raises provocative questions about the social context of such a phenomenon.

The world of these young performers is a glossy fantasy, all-consuming and almost too good to be true. Overnight they've been elevated to demigod status, and are now recognized everywhere they go by herds of screaming teenagers. This fame comes at the cost of their identity; vocal coaches, dance teachers, and tyrannical producers exploit easily digestible aspects of the young men's personalities and backgrounds, grooming them in the images of archetypes that audiences can root for. But in a scenario where there can be only one winner, the boys band together, attaining a mutual harmony that extends beyond the singing contest.
The festival will run from March 19 through 28, and April 8 through 11. Ticketing information and a complete schedule is available on the festival's website.

Hotteok (호떡) sale at CMU, February 26.

via Happy Today.

The Carnegie Mellon University Asian Students Association will hold a Hotteok Sale tomorrow, February 26. Hotteok (호떡) is a fried Korean dessert with a sweet filling, commonly sold by street food vendors for 30 to 50 cents a piece. The sale runs from 11:30 to 3:00 pm in the University Center Commons Room.

Sunflower Occupation event at Pitt (匹茲堡太陽花一週年), March 28.

A rally commemorating the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan will take place at the University of Pittsburgh on March 28. Pittsburgh is one of eleven North American cities holding events on the 28th. According to the event's Facebook page, the event begins at 2:00 pm in room 232 of the Cathedral of Learning. Last year's rally took place at CMU.

Japanese Board Game event at CMU, February 27.

via sbszine.

The Japanese Student Association at Carnegie Mellon University will present Japanese Board Games on Friday, February 27. From the event's Facebook page:
Join Japanese Student Association at CMU for Japanese mahjong, go, and other traditional games!

There will be people who will happily teach you how to play any of the games -- and we'll have information slips on how to play!
The event starts from 4:30 pm in 5415 Wean Hall (campus map).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"'Radical' Thinking about Character Recognition: The structure of the Chinese orthography and its ramifications" at Pitt, February 26.

The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh will present M.A. candidate Frank Dolce and his talk "'Radical' Thinking about Character Recognition: The structure of the Chinese orthography and its ramifications" on February 26. The abstract:
Previous research has examined cross-linguistic importance of phonological and morphological awareness in Chinese and English word recognition, yet few studies have focused on the earlier, pre-lexical aspects of character recognition and evaluated why orthographic awareness is central to Chinese literacy development. Comparing spread of lexical activation between orthographic, phonologic and semantic stores in English and Chinese reading have helped to specify the lexical pathways underlying character decoding and reading comprehension as part of word recognition. The visual orthographic complexity and coarse form-form mappings of the logographic character system, considered in conjunction with the observations of the Lexical Constituency Model and other reading research, suggests that Chinese pre-lexical processing is exclusively orthographic and threshold-based. Sub-character radicals are decomposed sub-lexical (but not “pre-lexical”) representations and are utilized in unfamiliar reading (based on radical frequency and regularity,
and other factors). Radical parts are only accessed after orthographic lexical representations are already assembled, meaning their access involves top-down morpho-orthographic decomposition. The first study proposal uses two character recognition training tasks to examine the pre-lexical processing pathway that leads to the perceptual assembly of lexical orthographic representations. Beginning with the basic premise that the semantic cues provided by radical parts also contribute to reading of unfamiliar graphic forms, additional studies are proposed comparing the relevance of visual, orthographic and semantic salience of character components in pseudocharacter recall. It is anticipated that graphic and semantic salience of radicals will have independent and additive
effects on recall of unfamiliar forms and both may be able to be incorporated into L2 pedagogies.
The talk is held in room 4217 Posvar Hall (campus map) from 11:00 am and is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Law and the Legal Profession in China" at Pitt, February 27 and 28.

The University of Pittsburgh will host the "Law and the Legal Profession in China" conference on February 27 and 28. From the University Center for International Studies:
Over the past two decades the profession of law within China has undergone tremendous change. China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization, massive foreign investment, and an increasingly cosmopolitan middle class have forced both the central government in Beijing and the country’s practicing attorneys to grapple with new clientele, new areas of practice, and an increasingly nuanced popular response to legal issues. This conference will bring together an international panel of multidisciplinary experts to examine the development and current practice of the legal profession in China.
The event is held in the Alcoa Room of the Barco Law Building (map) and is free and open to the public. Registration is required and can be done so by emailing Lynn Kawaratani of the Asian Studies Center at lyk12 at

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Host families still needed for visiting Kobe Gakuin University students next month.

GlobalPittsburgh has sent a reminder that it still needs host families for a cohort of visiting Kobe Gakuin University students in an exchange program at Duquense University next month. An email from Gail Schrott, Director of the International Leaders Program:
GlobalPittsburgh is urgently searching for host families that we need for a program for a group of pharmacy students from Kobe Gakuin University (Japan) who will be participating in an exchange with Duquesne University between March 6 and March 16.

We have a total of 8 female students yet to be placed with host families (out of a total of 18 students). The students, who are between the ages of 18 and 23, will be using bus passes to go to and from their classes and activities. The students will be practicing their English while they are in the city. We are able to provide participating hosts with $150 per student to help offset their expenses for food, etc. Hosts are asked to include the students in their weekend activities, provide breakfasts and dinners on weekdays and also lunches on weekends. The students will be placed in pairs with one student speaking better English than the other so that, collectively, they may communicate more effectively with their hosts. We ask that each student have her own bed; they may share a bedroom or have separate rooms. It is not appropriate to have a student sleeping in a family room or living room on a sofa (where people may walk through). It is okay if the students have to share a bathroom with each other and/or other members of the family. We are able to provide hosts with information about the students' allergies. We have letters to prospective hosts from the students. We ask the hosts to guide their guests to a bus stop location where they may take a bus to the Duquesne campus or to the downtown area where they may then walk to campus.

I look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your consideration of our request. Our colleagues in Japan are extremely eager to learn the names of hosts so that the students may correspond with their homestay hosts in advance of their arrival in Pittsburgh on March 6.

If you are interested in hosting the Japanese medical students please contact me at 412-392-4513 or

Pittsburgh Taiko Beginners Workshop, February 28.

Performance at the University of Pittsburgh, via Pittsburgh Taiko.

Pittsburgh Taiko will hold its annual Beginners Workshop on February 28 for those interested in learning about Japanese drumming.
Over the course of 2.5 hours, you will learn the basic movements and techniques used to play taiko, as well as learn a starter piece that incorporates these playing techniques.

Drumsticks will be provided, as will earplugs (although you’re welcome to bring your own if you have some).
The event runs from 1:30 to 4:00 pm at Winchester Thurston City Campus Lower School in Shadyside (map), and the cost is $15 for Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania members and students, and $25 for others. Registration is required, and can be done so at the Pittsburgh Taiko website.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Japanese Language Exchange at Kenmawr Apartments, February 22.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will hold its second Japanese language exchange at Kenmawr Apartments---and its third event there this year---on Sunday, February 22. The apartment complex at 401 Shady Ave. (map) has a large number of Japanese residents who work and study in the city, and often hosts cultural events for its international residents. Sunday's event runs from 2 to 4 pm.

VSA & CASA Lunar New Year Festival 2015 at Pitt, February 21.

The Vietnamese Student Association [VSA] and the Chinese American Student Association [CASA] at the University of Pittsburgh will present Lunar New Year 2015 Festival tomorrow night, February 21. The Facebook event page lists the performances:
YanLai Dance Academy
CASA performances
VSA performances
Steel Dragon Dance
Fashion Show
and the menu:
VSA: Hunan Bar - General Tso’s Tofu, Orange Chicken, and Scallion Pancake
CASA: Golden Palace Buffet - General Tso's, Green beans, Lo mein, Fried & white rice
The event runs from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room (campus map) and is free.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Speaking English is the hardest thing, says Jung-ho Kang.

Speaking English is the hardest thing, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jung-ho Kang told Sports Seoul on Wednesday, but it's a problem he says he has to work through.
“영어로 말하는 게 가장 어렵다. 그러나 당연히 내가 극복해야 할 문제다”라고 했다.
The Pittsburgh Pirates website continues:
The language barrier is the most obvious difficulty facing Kang -- [interpreter Jae] Han sat beside him at his locker Wednesday morning -- but his teammates have been doing their best to work around it.

"They're trying to use the easy words, so everything's good," Kang said, laughing. "I can talk with them."

Chinese artist Yun-fei Ji to lecture at CMU, February 24.

Man-eating Animals, 2009

The Carnegie Mellon School of Art will present Chinese artist Yun-fei Ji (季云飞) on February 24 as part of its Spring 2015 Lecture Series. The school profiles Je:
Yun-Fei Ji’s art addresses social change and geological climates using the political forum of the scroll, an ancient art form of ink and mineral pigment on silk and paper. In 2002, he made his first reference to the theme of mass displacement and environmental cataclysm in Three Gorges Dam Migration, a series of woodblock-printed hand scrolls depicting flooding and social upheaval triggered by the creation of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.
The talk begins at 5:00 pm in Kresge Theater (map), and is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) at Hollywood Theater, February 21 and 22.

The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on February 21 and 22. A summary by the distributor:
The moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis? The final chapter of Naruto's story unfolds!

Naruto has become one of the most popular and recognizable anime and manga series in the United States, with the manga volumes frequently appearing on the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers List and the Naruto Shippuden anime ranked as one of the top three anime series by the Los Angeles Times. With over 683 chapters and 367 anime episodes and more to come, Naruto continues to be a pillar in the US’s anime and manga culture.
The Last will premiere in the US on February 20. Tickets for the two Pittsburgh shows are now available online. Both screenings are in Japanese with English subtitles, and guests will receive free mini-posters while supplies last.

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.

"MEPPI Japan Lecture Series – The Tokyo-Berlin Axis, 70 Years Later", February 19.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania presents the next presentation in this year's Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. Japan Lecture Series, ""MEPPI Japan Lecture Series – The Tokyo-Berlin Axis, 70 Years Later", on February 19. The JASP provides an overview of the talk and the speaker:
The lecture will provide an overview of the origins, formation, development, and fall of the Axis alliance between Japan and Germany before and during World War II. How and why did Japan and Germany, so different, distant, and each espousing nationalistic ideologies, come to embrace each other as comrades in arms? How did the Axis function as a diplomatic and military entity? Did Japan and Germany help each other’s war effort, and could they actually have won World War II? The lecture will explore the answers to these questions by examining the history of Japanese-German rapprochement from the end of World War I in 1918 to the conclusion of World War II in 1945. It will discuss major events such as the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, the Tripartite Pact of 1940, and the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Ricky Law is assistant professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University. He first experienced Japan as a participant of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program in Hokkaido. He returned to Japan as a graduate student to research for his dissertation and received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently he is completing a book manuscript on the cultural and intellectual backgrounds of the Japanese-German alliance.
The talk runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland (map). Registration is required and can be done online.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"Covering China from the Ground Up – and Turning Reporting into Book" with Michael Meyer, February 20 at Pitt.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will host author Michael Meyer and his talk "Covering China from the Ground Up – and Turning Reporting into Book" on February 20. An overview of this stop of his book tour, from the latest ASC newsletter:
Since first arriving in the country as a Peace Corps volunteer 20 years ago, Michael Meyer has witnessed China from the village and neighborhood level. His writing combines immersive reporting, memoir and archival research. Meyer’s award-winning first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing, documents daily life in the capital's oldest neighborhood as the city remade itself for the Olympics. His second book, published this month, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, depicts life on a family’s rice farm as it becomes a corporate agribusiness. Meyer will show slides from his research, and talk about the challenges of reporting from China and how a freelance writer can fund and produce books that reach a wide audience. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
The talk begins at 2:00 pm in the O'Hara Student Center Ballroom (campus map) and is free and open to the public.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Shortstop Jung-ho Kang arrives at Spring Training.

Via Newsen (1, 2).

Newly-signed shortstop Jung-ho Kang (강정호) has arrived at Pirates Spring Training, and the Korean media is watching closely.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Chinese movie Somewhere Only We Know (有一个地方只有我们知道) at Waterfront, from February 13.

The 2015 Chinese romantic comedy Somewhere Only We Know (有一个地方只有我们知道) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from tomorrow, February 13. A quick synopsis:
The film tells a story of a girl named Jin Tian, who goes to Prague after her boyfriend breaks the engagement. Then a man named Peng Zeyang appears in her life and a love story begins.
Pittsburgh is one of 28 North American cities to get the film on its US debut. Showtimes through February 19 are currently available online; Friday's show will play at 11:05 am, 1:45 pm, 4:25 pm, 7:05 pm, and 9:45 pm. The theater is located at the Waterfront shopping center in Homestead (map).

Korean Lunar New Year Conversation Club Event at Pitt, February 17.

From the latest Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh newsletter:
Daehwa Korean Conversation club’s first event! Come experience the Korean Lunar New Year with other Korean language learners and enjoy games and food! Daehwa’s goal is to help Korean language learners or students interested in Korean to practice their conversational skills while learning about Korean culture in a fun and casual environment. All students and faculty are welcome, whether or not you are learning Korean! Please join us to celebrate the Korean Lunar New Year!
The event runs from 12:30 to 2:30 pm on February 17 in room 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chinese-language presentation “Assessing the Quality of China’s Rural Health Care” ("中国农村医疗质量评估") at Pitt, February 18.

The University of Pittsburgh will host Dr. Yaojiang Shi of Shaanxi Normal University on February 18 for a talk titled “Assessing the Quality of China’s Rural Health Care". The presentaton begins at 1:00 pm in 3600 Posvar Hall (campus map) and is in Chinese. Those interested in attending are requested to RSVP to asia [at]

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Pirate Cosmopolitanism: P2P, Fansubbing, and Alternative Cultural Flow in China" at Pitt, February 13.

Dr. Jinying Li, of the University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies program, will present "Pirate Cosmopolitanism: P2P, Fansubbing, and Alternative Cultural Flow in China" on Friday, February 13. The abstract, via the Pitt Asian Studies Center:
In China, where the world's largest population is quickly getting wired, fansubbing—dubbed "zimuzu" in Chinese—has flourished among a burgeoning digital generation who is active in consuming a large amount of foreign media contents, mostly Hollywood movies and TV series, which are widely available on cyberspace in the form of free digital fansubs that are translated and distributed by fellow fans. This alternative, bottom-up cultural flow between Hollywood and China is rapidly gaining momentum in a media market that is subjected to both extensive information control by the state and suppressive IP enforcement by multinational corporations. This talk will address the political meanings of an imagined cosmopolitan community that is created through the self-organized communication platforms of fansubbing and p2p file sharing of media contents, and examine the changing power relations between global Hollywood, the Chinese state, and a new generation of consumers in the digital age.
The talk will begin at 4:00 pm in 4217 Posvar Hall (campus map), and is free and open to the public.

Valentine's Day in Japan Chocolate Making Social in Shadyside, February 13.

Kenmawr Apartments in Shadyside and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will host "Valentine's Day in Japan Chocolate Making Social" on Friday, February 13. The apartment complex at 401 Shady Ave. (map) has a large number of Japanese residents who work and study in the city, and often hosts cultural events for its international residents. Friday's event runs from 4 to 6 pm.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Chinese movie Somewhere Only We Know (有一个地方只有我们知道) at Waterfront, from February 13.

The 2015 Chinese romantic comedy Somewhere Only We Know (有一个地方只有我们知道) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from February 13, according to the University of Pittsburgh's East Asian Languages and Literatures. A quick synopsis:
The film tells a story of a girl named Jin Tian, who goes to Prague after her boyfriend breaks the engagement. Then a man named Peng Zeyang appears in her life and a love story begins.
Pittsburgh is one of 28 North American cities to get the film on its US debut. Showtimes and further information have not yet been released. The theater is located at the Waterfront shopping center in Homestead (map).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Chinese New Year event for kids at Mt. Lebanon Public Library, February 15.

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library (map) will hold a Chinese New Year event for children ages 3 and up on Sunday, February 15, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.
Help bring in the Year of the Sheep today with stories, songs, snacks and fun!
Those with questions can contact the Children's Library at childrenslibrary [at] or 412-531-1912.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Documentary Lessons in Dissent (未夠秤) and discussion with director at Pitt, February 11.

The Asian Studies Center newsletter tells us the 2014 documentary Lessons in Dissent (未夠秤) will be shown at the University of Pittsburgh on February 11, and will feature a discussion with director Matthew Torne.
A synopsis, from the film's official website:
Filmed over 18 months, Lessons in Dissent is a kaleidoscopic, visceral portrait of a new generation of Hong Kong democracy activists.

School boy JOSHUA WONG dedicates himself to stopping the introduction of National Education. His campaign begins to snowball when an interview goes viral on YouTube, with the new school year fast approaching, a showdown with the government seems inevitable. Microphone in hand, and still in his school uniform, he leads 120,000 protesters into battle.

Meanwhile, former classmate Ma Jai fights against political oppression on the streets and in the courts. Having dropped out of school and dedicated himself to the social movement, he endures the persecution suffered by those not lucky enough to be protected by the media’s glare.

Lessons in Dissent catapults the viewer on to the streets of Hong Kong and into the heart of the action: confronting the viewer with Hong Kong’s oppressive heat, stifling humidity and air thick with dissent.
The event runs from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium (campus map).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Modern Times in North Korea: Scenes from the Founding Years" at Pitt, February 13.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Suzy Kim of Rutgers University and her talk "Modern Times in North Korea: Scenes from the Founding Years" at the University of Pittsburgh on February 13, the first in the center's Worlding Korea series. The synopsis:
North Korea is often portrayed in mainstream media as a backward place, a Stalinist relic without a history worth knowing. But during its founding years (1945-1950), North Korea experienced a radical social revolution when everyday life became the primary site of political struggle, including quite deliberately a feminist agenda. With historical comparisons to revolutions in the early 20th century, Suzy Kim introduces her book through rarely seen archival photos, situating the North Korean revolution within the broader history of modernity.
It will be held in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map) from 3:00, and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Setsubun event at Teppanyaki Kyoto, February 3.

Highland Park's Teppanyaki Kyoto restaurant is holding a setsubun event on Tuesday, February 3. Guests can receive a free ehomaki roll on a first-come-first-served basis; the restaurant explains its significance:
One February 3rd, people in Japan celebrate Setsubun, the coming of spring. One of Setsubun dinner is Special Sushi Roll, Ehomaki (Thick uncut sushi roll). The proper way to eat this dinner is to face the auspicious direction for that year, this year it was west-south-west, and eat the entire sushi roll without stopping. Don't speak, just make your wish! This takes longer than you might think, so you have time to wish for a lot!
The restaurant is located at 5808 Bryant St. (map).

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