Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Enhancing Chinese EFL Learners’ Awareness of Lexical Style" colloquium at Pitt, October 2.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Linguistics will host Dr. Guangwei Chen and his talk "Enhancing Chinese EFL Learners’ Awareness of Lexical Style" on October 2. The talk is free and open to the public in room G-13 of the Cathedral of Learning (map) from 3:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Hong Kong movies Saving Mr. Wu (解救吾先生), Lost in Hong Kong (港囧) at AMC Loews Waterfront, from October 2.

Two new Hong Kong movies---Saving Mr. Wu (解救吾先生) and Lost in Hong Kong (港囧)---will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from October 2.

The Hollywood Reporter provides a synopsis of the former, starring Andy Lau and Liu Ye and based on the 2004 kidnapping of actor Wu Ruofu:
On a Lunar New Year holiday evening in Beijing, Hong Kong actor referred to only as Mr. Wu (Andy Lau) is rousted by police outside a Chaoyang district restaurant. He’s just finished celebrating a deal for his next movie when an unidentified squad tells him his car has been connected to a hit and run, and would he please come to the station. Unconvinced of their legitimacy Wu "resists" arrest, gets hustled into a car and whisked away. He’s been kidnapped. His captors, led by the sometimes cackling, probably unstable Zhang Hua (Wang Qingyuan, The Crossing) and who have a second hostage, anonymous and — worse for him, working class — Xiao Dou (Cai Lu), are collecting ransoms in order to fund a much larger, more ambitious robbery. While awaiting their 3 million yuan (about $450,000 U.S.) payout, Zhang slips up when he goes to see his girlfriend Chenchen (Li Meng, The Golden Era, the only woman with a speaking part) and promptly gets scooped up by the cops investigating the abduction, Xing Feng (Ding regular Liu Ye, The Last Supper) and Cao Gang (Wu Ruofu, the real victim from 2004). Cue the cat and mouse word games between Xing and Zhang as the police scour the city looking for Wu.
And a September 24 Los Angeles Times review on the latter, which opened in China on September 25 and became the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time there.:
"Lost in Hong Kong" follows 2010's "Lost on Journey" and 2012's "Lost in Thailand," one of the all-time top-grossing blockbusters in its native China. Connected to its predecessors only thematically, the new film has director-star Xu Zheng embarking on yet another action-packed misadventure. Only this time, Xu's character must babysit an exasperating man-child — a Looney Tunes character personified —played by Bao Bei'er instead of Wang Baoqiang from the previous installments.

Xu plays Xu Lai, a henpecked brassiere designer who's barely putting up with the overbearing clan of wife Cai Bo (Vicki Zhao) on family vacation in Hong Kong. His ulterior motive is to reunite with the one that got away: college sweetheart Yang Yi (Du Juan), an accomplished artist who is set to open a solo show in Hong Kong. Problem is, Xu's aspiring documentarian brother-in-law, Cai Lala (Bao), insists on tagging along everywhere he goes to record his every move.
Tickets and showtimes are available at the AMC Loews Waterfront website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tora-san Meets the Songstress Again (a.k.a., Tora-san's Rise and Fall, 男はつらいよ 寅次郎相合い傘) at Maridon Museum, October 1.

The Maridon Museum wll show the 1975 comedy Tora-san Meets the Songstress Again (a.k.a., Tora-san's Rise and Fall, 男はつらいよ 寅次郎相合い傘) as the second installment in this fall's Japanese film series.

Hong Kong, Miyazaki films coming to Row House Cinema in December.

The Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville has announced two film series in December: "France vs Hong Kong New Wave" from the 4th through 10th, and "Hayao Miyazaki" from the 11th through 17th. The former will include The Killer (喋血雙雄) and Fallen Angels (墮落天使), in addition to two French films. The latter, four Miyazaki films: My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind< (風の谷のナウシカ), Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫), and Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し). Showtimes and ticket information will come later.

The theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tet Festival" at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, October 17.

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will host "Celebrating the Tet Festival" on Sunday, October 17, as the opening day in its Voyage to Vietnam exhibit.
Discover the beauty, sights, and sounds of Vietnam through the lens of Tet, the most important celebration of the year, in this interactive exhibition. Dress up in customaryAo Daiand pose for an interactive family photo. Try on a giant lion head and make and launch a fireworks display to signal the culmination of the celebration. Visitors will gain appreciation for the traditions, values, and daily experiences of people who live in Vietnam, and discover similarities and differences among the lives of children in the U.S. and in Vietnam
The touring exhibit, currently in San Jose, will be in Pittsburgh from October 17 through January 17, 2016. The Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series website provides an overview:
Through the interactive experiences and programming of Voyage to Vietnam, children soak up the essence of Tết—its sights, sounds, stories, textures and experiences. Providing multiple entry points for visitors of all ages to engage personally in authentic Vietnamese culture, Voyage to Vietnam will be scalable from 924 sq.ft. to1,500 sq.ft. to accommodate venues with varying capacity. The exhibit will incorporate Vietnamese-inspired materials, color palette, and an immersive marketplace experience with elements such as bamboo, fabric, umbrellas, plank bed and scripts and fonts that evoke modern Vietnamese calligraphy. Fabrication strategies include using banners rather than painted walls; video backdrops as set-pieces, digital narratives demonstrating cultural practices, and collapsible steel “carts” for shipping the exhibit, reducing the crate storage for the exhibit’s square footage.
"Celebrating the Tet Festival" runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is located at 10 Children's Way on the North Side (map). Admission is $14 for adults and $13 for seniors and for children aged 2 to 18.

Documentary The Look of Silence free at Parkway Theater, October 2 and 3.

Citing poor attendance at August showings of the film, the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks will show the 2014 documentary The Look of Silence for free on October 2 and 3. A synopsis of the documentary on the Indonesian killings of 1965 and 1966, via the film's website:
Through [director Joshua] Oppenheimer's footage of the perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.
On September 3, the theater posted on Facebook that a total of 11 people saw the film during the initial eight screenings there.

The Friday, October 2 showing will be at 7:00 pm, and the October 3rd showing at 5:45 pm. The theater is located at 644 Broadway Ave. in McKees Rocks (map), a few miles west of the North Side.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"China Town Hall: Local Collections, National Reflections" at Pitt on Chinese investments in US and in American education, October 5.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host the next "China Town Hall: Local Collections, National Reflections" on October 5. It consists of a national webcast at 7:00 pm and an in-person talk titled "An Educated Investment: How Chinese Families are Spending Big on American Education and How It Could Change Both Countries" at 8:00:
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is leading an expert panel for a live "town hall" meeting on what China's investments in the US mean for American workers, communities, and the economy.

Afterwards at 8 there will be a talk by Senior Writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Karin Fischer on Chinese families investment in their children's US education.
The session will begin at 6:45 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map), and is free and open to the public.

From 匹茲堡大學 Facebook page.

University of Pittsburgh officials are currently touring China. Photographed above in the Forbidden Palace in Beijing are: Asian Studies Center Director James Cook, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, University Center for International Studies Director Ariel Armony, Confucius Institute Director Michele Heryford, and Pitt China representative Tina Zhang. The University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center writes:
In Beijing they held meetings with Renmin University and Beijing Normal University as well as the Ministries of Health and Education.
Currently they are heading to Chengdu to attend the inaugural matriculation ceremony for the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yaeji at VIA 2015, October 3.

via Yaeji k r a e j i's Facebook page.

One of the headliners of the VIA 2015 festival is Yaeji: artist, DJ, and recent CMU graduate. From the VIA website:
Yaeji (k r a e j i) is a NY born and Seoul raised DJ/Producer/Vocalist. She started her DJ career at the WRCT88.3 station and has performed at various venues in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seoul, and New York. Her production and vocals hold influences from R&B, jazz, dream pop, and house. Outside of her musical life, she enjoys visual art and graphic design.
She'll perform at the October 3 Main Event is at Spirit at 242 51st Street (map). Tickets are available online, and more information is on the Facebook event page.

VIA is a Pittsburgh festival in its sixth year that's received acclaim locally and nationally as
A focused and thoughtfully curated series, the VIA Festival is dedicated to presenting artists who are pushing the boundaries of their fields and introduces emerging talent to Pittsburgh while also honoring already beloved and internationally renowned acts.

Bunjinga painting program, demonstration on September 25 and 26.

The Japan-American Society of Pennsylvania shares news of two Bunjinga painting programs in the Pittsburgh area with guest artist Fujyo Kato on Friday and Saturday. On September 25, Kato and Hiromi Katayama will be at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.
Join Handa City Culture program, the Japan-America Society of Pittsburgh and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh in welcoming guest artist, Fujyo Kato from Aichi, Japan.

Mr. Kato performed his painting at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh back in 1995 and is returning to perform his unique painting style on a large piece of paper again! Learn the art of Bunjinga painting by putting strokes of sumi ink on the paper as Mr. Kato incorporates them into one large inspirational spontaneous painting.

Also joining us is past F.I.N.E. Art Resident, Hiromi Katayama, whom you can paint alongside with and learn traditional Japanese painting techniques!
The museum is located at 10 Children's Way on the North Side (map). Admission is $14 for adults and $13 for seniors and for children aged 2 to 18.

On the 26th, Kato will hold a "hands-on workshop" at the Pittsburgh Zen Center in Sewickley:
Mr. Kato will do a brief demonstration of the history of bunjinga, show examples of his artwork, and review basic techniques.

Guests will also be able to partake in sencha tea ceremony while they watch the demonstration.
The cost is $10 for Pittsburgh Zen Center members and $20 for the general public. Registration is required and can be completed online. The Pittsburgh Zen Center is located at 124 Willow Ridge Rd. in Sewickley (map).

Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) at Hollywood Theater in Dormont, from September 30.

The first of two Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) films will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on September 30, October 1, and October 7. The movie was released in Japan on August 1. The second film, Attack on Titan: End of the World (進撃の巨人 エンド オブ ザ ワールド) is due for a September 19 release, and will play at the Hollywood Theater on October 20, 22, and 27. A brief summary, from Tech Times:
The movies are based on a popular manga and anime series of the same name, where humanity lives behind massive walls to protect themselves against the threat of massive man-eating giants known as Titans. The story revolves around a young group of men and women who enlist in their city's armed forces to drive back the Titans after a never before seen "Colossal Titan" breaches the walls.
Tickets are currently available for Attack on Titan, which will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles. 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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2014 Zhang Yimou film Coming Home (归来) at Regent Square Theater from October 16.

It was recently announced that the 2014 Chinese film Coming Home (归来), directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li, will play at the Regent Square Theater from October 16. A New York Times review from September 8 summarizes a bit:
“Coming Home,” only [Zhang and Li's] second collaboration in the past 20 years, reunites them in an intimate, politically resonant story set in the final years and the immediate aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Ms. Gong plays Feng Wanyu, a teacher in a provincial city whose husband, Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming), a professor, has been sent to a labor camp in a purge of “rightists.” Feng Wanyu lives with their teenage daughter, Dan Dan (Zhang Huiwen), a dancer who dreams of playing the lead in the ballet “The Red Detachment of Women.” Her father’s pariah status threatens her ambition, and she is eager to denounce him when local officials demand it.

Early in the film, Lu Yanshi has escaped and made his way home in a doomed and desperate effort to see his family again. He receives a mixed welcome. Feng Wanyu is both terrified and eager to be with him, while Dan Dan, who barely remembers her father, is worried about the disruptive effect his presence will have on her life. Her selfishness and shortsightedness, and her inability to sympathize with her parents or put aside her own needs are all perfectly normal. She’s an adolescent, after all. But in a time of political extremity, ordinary feelings and actions can have terrible consequences. Innocent people do not only suffer under a ruthless system; they become agents of its cruelty.
Zhang and Li partnered on several of the most acclaimed Chinese movies of the 1990s, including Ju Dou (菊豆), Raise the Red Lantern (大红灯笼高高挂), The Story of Qiu Ju (秋菊打官司), and To Live (活著).

Showtimes and ticket information are not available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website at the time of this post. The theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map) in the Regent Square neighborhood, east of Squirrel Hill and Oakland.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anime series at Row House Cinema, September 25 through October 1.

akira攻殻機動隊When Marnie Was There

The Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will host an anime series that will run from September 25 to October 1. The lineup includes: Akira (アキラ), Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊), When Marnie Was There (思い出のマーニー), and Perfect Blue (パーフェクトブルー).
Japanese animation (or anime) is a diverse art form which comes in a variety of artistic styles and genres. While the themes of anime vary from sci-fi to horror to action to drama, one thing these films share in common is a focus on creating a cinematographic experience through the use of backgrounds and camera effects. This week we take a look at three Japanese animation classics as well as the most recent (and possibly final) release from Studio Ghibli, whose films include the three highest-grossing anime movies of all time.
Movies will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles. Showtimes and tickets are now available at the theater's website.

Japanese language exchange in Shadyside, September 25.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania's Japanese language exchange this month is scheduled for Friday, September 25. Like the others, it will be held in Kenmawr Apartments, located at 401 Shady Ave. (map). It runs from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Community Room and is free and open to the public.

Jung-ho Kang out for season with broken leg.

via Kang's Instagram.

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie infielder Jung-ho Kang is out for the rest of the 2015 season with a broken leg, after a hard slide on Thursday.
The Pirates said Kang underwent surgery at Allegheny General Hospital to repair a tibial plateau fracture with a lateral meniscal repair. The South Korean rookie, playing shortstop against the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day, was injured in the first inning when Chris Coghlan slid hard into Kang's left leg to break up a double play at PNC Park.

Kang, who made a hard throw to first to complete the twin killing, went down in pain immediately, and was later helped off the field by trainer Ben Potenziano and interpreter H.K. Kim.

The recovery time is estimated at six to eight months.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pitt CSSA Talent Show, September 26.

The Chinese Scholars & Students Association at the University of Pittsburgh (匹茲堡大學中国学生学者联谊会) will present its talent show on Saturday, September 26. The event runs from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room (map). The event is free, but registration is required.

The Makioka Sisters (細雪) at Maridon Museum, September 25.

The Maridon Museum will show the 1983 movie The Makioka Sisters(細雪) as the first of four in its Japanese Film Series this fall. A 1985 New York Times review summarizes:
The film, set mostly in and around Osaka in 1938, is about four sisters - heiresses to one of the three largest shipbuilding fortunes in Japan - who are attempting to live up to the expectations of their dead parents even as the family fortune slips away.

The two older sisters, Tsuruko and Sachiko, both married, share the responsibility of marrying off their two younger sisters, Yukiko and Taeko. Their job is not made easier by the fact that Yukiko, who is third in line, turns down all suitors, which means that Taeko, the youngest and most independent-minded, must wait her turn.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and is presented by Dr. William Covey of Slippery Rock University. The movies in the series are free and open to the public, though reservations are required and can be made by calling 724-282-0123.

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

JET Information Session at Pitt, September 22.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center is hosting a Japan Exchange and Teaching [JET] Programme Information Session on Tuesday, September 22. The JET Programme places native English speakers in Japanese classrooms.
Are you graduating soon? Wondering what your next adventure could be? Learn about the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program. It is a great opportunity for college graduates to work in Japan as Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Coordinators for International Relations (CIR), or Sports Exchange Advisors (SEA).
An overview of the JET Programme, from the official site:
Aiming primarily to promote grass-roots internationalisation at the local level, the JET Programme invites young college graduates from around the world to participate in international exchange work and be involved in foreign language education at Japan’s local government offices, Boards of Education, elementary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools. The JET Programme has gained high acclaim both domestically and internationally for being one of the world’s largest international exchange programmes. We hope that all people involved in the JET Programme, both the participants and the local people they live and work with, will build an international network and become successful in today’s global society.
The presenter is Pittsburgh JET Alumni Association President Smitha Prasadh, and the event runs from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Listening Ethnographically to the Sounds and Silences of Japan's Antinuclear Movement" at Pitt, September 18.

Marié Abe, an Assistant Professor of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Boston University, will present "Listening Ethnographically to the Sounds and Silences of Japan's Antinuclear Movement" at Pitt on Friday, September 18. From the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center:
In April 2011—one month after the devastating M9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent crises at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in northeast Japan—an antinuclear demonstration of over 15,000 participants took over the streets of Tokyo. Leading the protest was the raucous sound of chindon-ya, a Japanese practice of musical advertisement dating back to the late 1800s. Contextualizing the anti-nuclear protests within a larger arc of Japanese social movements, this talk explores how the particular sounds of chindon-ya transposed from the commercial to the political, and what historical moments, translocal relations, and social differences were being articulated through chindon-ya sounds, especially vis-à-vis Anne Allison’s notion of “affective activism.”
The talk will be held at 4130 Posvar Hall (map) from 2:30, and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Japanese Language Testing Overview" at Pitt, September 17.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will present "Japanese Language Testing Overview" at Pitt on Thursday, September 17. From today's Asian Studies Center newsletter on the session, which will provide an overview of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test [JLPT]:
LEARN ABOUT THE JLPT here and overseas

by JASP Executive Director Amy Boots


Pitt Instructor Sachiko Takabatake Howard
It begins at 4:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

K-pop star Hyomin throws out first pitch in Pittsburgh before today's game.

via @hyominn.

This afternoon, Hyomin (효민) of the K-pop group T-ara threw out the first pitch before the Pirates played the Milwaukee Brewers. Hyomin announced this on her Instagram back on August 31. Friend and Pirates rookie Jung-ho Kang caught it.

via 스포츠조선.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Cooking and Culture: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival" class in Fox Chapel, October 1.

Fox Chapel Area Adult Education will host a "Cooking and Culture: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival" class on October 1.
Mid-Autumn Festival is the Chinese celebration of a successful harvest. Moon cakes and pomelos are enjoyed under the light of the full moon. Join us as we bake and eat moon cakes while learning Chinese phrases and discussing the history, traditions, and stories of this ancient Chinese holiday.
Open to ages 13 and above when accompanied by an adult.
The cost is $15 for Fox Chapel residents and $20 for non-residents, plus a $5 materials fee. The class is held at Fox Chapel Area High School at 611 Field Club Rd. (map), and will run from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Class and registration information is available at the Fox Chapel Area Adult Education website.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Anthem of the Heart (心が叫びたがってるんだ。) at Hollywood Theater, November 4.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont announced today it will show the 2015 Japanese animated movie Anthem of the Heart (心が叫びたがってるんだ。) on November 4. The synopsis, from the movie's official site:
Jun Naruse is a girl who carries the guilt of breaking up her family with the words she carelessly uttered when she was young…

Suddenly, a mysterious “Egg Fairy” appears in front of Jun and casts a curse on her so that she can never hurt anybody with her words. Jun’s ability to speak is sealed away: every time she tries, she feels a pain in her stomach. Traumatized by this experience, Jun hides her feelings deep inside of her heart, turning to e-mail messages on her mobile phone as her sole means of communication.

Jun is now a second year high school student. One day, her homeroom teacher appoints Jun and three other students as members of the Regional Friendship Exchange Executive Committee. As it turns out, the appointed group is a rather unexpected mix of students. Other than Jun, the members of the Committee are Takumi Sakagami, the burn-out who never speaks his true intentions; Daiki Tasaki, the former baseball team ace who failed his run at the Championships due to an injury; and Natsuki Nito, the cheerleader and honor student who has some concerns about her love life. They all suffer from emotional trauma just like Jun.
The movie will be released in Japan on September 19. Tickets are now available online for the 7:30 pm show. 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.

"From Underground to Independent: Social and Political Dimensions of Filmmaking in Today’s China" at Pitt, September 15.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host the next event in the "Asia on Screen" series, "From Underground to Independent: Social and Political Dimensions of Filmmaking in Today’s China" on Tuesday, September 15. The presenter is Paul Pickowicz, Distinguished Professor of History and Chinese Studies, University of California, San Diego, who edited a 2006 book titled From Underground to Independent. The talk runs from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in the University Club (map), Ballroom B, and is free and open to the public.

설레임 밀크 쉐이크 in Pittsburgh.

Spotted 설레임 밀크 쉐이크 recently at Many More Asian Market, the first time I'd seen these milkshakes in a bag in Pittsburgh. (They taste pretty good, and they work well on headaches.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pittsburgh Taiko beginner workshop, September 19.

The Pittsburgh Taiko Fall 2015 Beginners' Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.
Interested in learning how to play taiko? Come participate in our Beginners Workshops!

Over the course of 2 hours, you will learn basic movements and techniques used to play taiko.

Drumsticks will be provided, as will earplugs (although you’re welcome to bring your own if you have some).
The introduction to Japanese drumming (taiko), is held at the Winchester Thurston City Campus Lower School on Morewood Ave. in Shadyside (map). Registration is free and can be done online.

"Storytime: Chinese and English" at Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill, September 14; "Let's Learn Chinese" for children every Thursday in Oakland.

The Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill will host "Storytime: Chinese and English" on Monday, September 14.
Celebrate the city's diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Chinese. For children birth--5 years and their parents or caregivers.
The event runs from 1:30 to 2:00 pm. The library is located at 5801 Forbes Ave. (map) and is accessible by buses 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 64, and 74.

The Carnegie Library in Oakland hosts "Kasper Hwa presents Let's learn Chinese" every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 7:00 pm, with the next meeting on September 10.
Experience Chinese language and culture through books, storytelling, songs, games and more!
The programs are led by Kasper Hwa, who earned a Master's of Education from Pitt this spring. They are held in the Children's Room, and the library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. (map), accessible by over a dozen different buses that service Oakland.

T-ara's Hyomin practicing for PNC Park first pitch.

Hyomin, of K-pop group T-ara, has been practicing her windup ahead of throwing out the first pitch in Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 13. Last week she warmed up with Sang-Woo Cho of the Nexen Heroes, pictured above. She's leaving from Incheon International Airport in the 11th, the papers say.

It's not the first time she's thrown a first pitch. In 2011, she had a decent delivery at an LG Twins game:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Cultures of China" in Oakland, September 8.

The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall will host "Cultures of China" tonight, September 8. The Post-Gazette has a profile today:
The feast of traditional arts includes Peking opera, a stylized form of Chinese theater from the 18th Century that incorporates dance, singing, music, mime and acrobatics, performed by artists Baoliang Li and Huiqing Yuan. Chinese folk dances will be performed by the Jinan singing and dancing troupe, and traditional Chinese instruments will be played by Shandong Qishu with a solo by Zhongxian Yao.
. . .
The artists chosen for the Cultures of China gala will stop in five cities this year, having arrived from Chicago, the kickoff city. After their Pittsburgh performance they will go on to Boston, Houston and New York.

In the six years the Overseas Affairs Office of the State Council has chosen artists, this year is the first time the group has performed in Pittsburgh.
The event is a precursor to the first Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival, scheduled for September 19 in Oakland. Tuesday's performance starts at 7:00 pm at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall at 4141 Fifth Ave. (map). Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $5 for children.

"Storytime: Japanese and English" at Carnegie Library in East Liberty, September 15.

The next installment of the monthly program "Storytime: Japanese and English" will take place on September 15 at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty.
Celebrate our city's diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Japanese. For children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers.
It runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am. The library is located at 130 S. Whitfield St. (map).

Monday, September 7, 2015

Love Live! The School Idol Movie at Hollywood Theater in Dormont, September 13.

The Japanese anime movie Love Live! The School Idol Movie will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on September 13. A plot summary from the distributors:
Although u’s, the defending champions of the school idol tournament, plans to dissolve their group after the graduation of their senior members, they receive news that leads them to holding a concert event! The 9 girls continue to learn and grow in this new and unfamiliar world. What is the last thing that these girls can do as school idols? With the clock ticking, what kind of meaning will the u’s members find in performing the most exciting live performance?
Tickets are on sale now for $15 for the 7:00 pm show. The screening will be in Japanese with English subtitles. 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.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Screenings of Japanese documentaries Mental (精神), Peace, and Campaign (選挙)—with filmmaker Q-and-A sessions—at University of Pittsburgh, September 10 and 11.

Three Japanese documentaries by Kazuhiro Soda——Mental (精神), Peace, and Campaign (選挙)——will screen at the University of Pittsburgh on September 10 and September 11. Soda will be present for Q-and-A sessions on both days in an "ASIA on SCREEN" event presented by the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center and Film Studies Program.

A brief synopsis of 2008's Mental, via the documentary's official site:
[Mental] is a documentary that observes the complex world of an outpatient mental health clinic Chorale Okayama in Japan, interwoven with patients, doctors, staff, volunteers, and home-helpers.

People with various mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, panic disorder, and personality disorder visit Chorale Okayama to see Dr. Masatomo Yamamoto. They are men and women of all ages, with diverse backgrounds and various attitudes to their own illnesses.

There is an elite businessman who worked too hard and was diagnosed with "burn-out syndrome." There is a woman who has suffered from an eating disorder since somebody said to her
that her legs were too fat. There is a mother who ended up killing her own newborn baby. Because of their illnesses, some attempt suicide repeatedly, and others actually kill themselves (As of today, two of the patients in the film have committed suicide). Some have been dealing with their illnesses for decades, and have developed their own philosophy, religious faith, or artistic expressions. Some hide their illnesses even from their family members and friends, while others give lectures to reduce prejudice and misunderstanding about mental illness.
Mental begins at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 10, at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium (campus map). A Q-and-A with Soda will follow.

2010's Peace, according to the documentary's official site,
is a visual-essay-like observational documentary, which contemplates these questions by observing the daily lives of people and cats in Okayama city, Japan, where life and death, acceptance and rejection are intermingled.

Three people and stray cats are the main characters.

Toshio Kashiwagi runs an affordable taxi service for the disabled and the elderly, having retired as a principal at a special school. Meanwhile, he feeds a group of stray cats everyday. However, there is a growing tension in the cats’ peaceful community because a male “thief cat,” an outsider, is trying to invade it.

Toshio’s wife, Hiroko Kashiwagi, runs a non-profit organization, which sends home helpers to houses of the elderly and the disabled. But, her organization is facing financial difficulties because of budget cuts from the government. At home, she has been grumbling about the way Toshio feeds his cats.

As a professional caregiver herself, Hiroko regularly visits 91-year-old Shiro Hashimoto to help his daily routines. Living in a mice and tick infected small apartment, Hashimoto is spending his final days thinking about his own death. His memories of being drafted to World War II come back to him while dealing with Hiroko.
And the synopsis for 2010's Campaign, via the film's official site:
Can a candidate with no political experience and no charisma win an election if he is backed by the political giant Prime Minister Koizumi and his Liberal Democratic Party? This cinema-verite documentary closely follows a heated election campaign in Kawasaki, Japan, revealing the true nature of "democracy."

In the fall of 2005, 40-year-old, self-employed Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi's peaceful, humdrum life was turned upside-down. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had suddenly chosen him as its official candidate to run for a vacant seat on the Kawasaki city council. Yama-san had zero experience in politics, no charisma, no supporters, no constituency, and no time to prepare for the impending election.
Peace will begin at 2:00 pm and Campaign at 5:30 on Friday the 11th. Both movies, along with the 4:00 reception and the Q-and-A session, will be held in Lawrence Hall room 121 (campus map). The event is free and open to the public.

Free Chinese, Japanese, Korean classes at Carnegie Library in Oakland.

The start of the new school year is a good time to remind readers of the free Chinese, Japanese, and Korean classes held at the Carnegie Library in Oakland (map). Depending on the class and the particular volunteer teacher, the sessions range from a period of casual free talking to more rigorous class with workbooks and chalk-and-talk instruction on grammar and usage.

Here's a look at what's coming up, in order of proficiency level:

* Chinese for Beginners (next meeting: September 13). Held the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Large Print Room.
* Chinese II (next meeting: September 6). Held the first and third Sunday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Large Print Room.
* Chinese Conversation Club (next meeting: September 10). Held the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Large Print Room. For intermediate and advanced learners.

* Japanese for Beginners (next meeting: September 14). Second and fourth Monday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30 in Classroom A.
* Japanese II (next meeting: September 8). Second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30 in Classroom A. "Japanese II is geared toward those who already have a basic understanding of Japanese and are interested in increasing proficiency," says the library website. "Ability to read and write hiragana is required to take this class."
* Japanese Conversation Club (next meeting: September 15). Held on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Large Print Room. For intermediate and advanced learners.

* Korean for Beginners (next meeting: September 5). Every Saturday from 1:00 to 2:30 in the Large Print Room. Focuses on reading Hangeul and producing basic phrases.
* Korean II (next meeting: September 5). Every Saturday from 11:00 to 12:30 in the Large Print Room.

Students may join the class at any time of the year, though registration is now required for many of the classes. This can be done online by clicking on the class and submitting your name and email address. For more information about the courses, and to register for one, visit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh homepage, click events, and search for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Korean comedian Mi Youn Kim hanging out in Pittsburgh.

The Korean papers wrote about Korean comedian and actress Mi Youn Kim (김미연) and her trip to PNC Park on Monday the 31st. She received a ticket from rookie shortstop Jungho Kang, she wrote on Twitter.
김미연은 지난달 31일(한국시간) 자신의 트위터에 “피츠버그 PNC 파크”라며 “강정호 야구 선수가 준 티켓으로 응원 열심히 했습니다. 멋집니다. 파이팅!”이라는 글과 함께 한 장의 사진을 게재했다.
Kim is not a household name, but has appeared in a couple of movies and a handful of television programs since debuting in 2002. She took a break from acting after the 2014 movie Fantasy (화상), and currently studies at Point Park University. For the past few months on Twitter and Instagram she's documented her life in Pittsburgh and photographed herself at local landmarks like Mt. Washington, Point State Park, and Eat n' Park.

via @kim_mi_youn_mimi

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