Saturday, February 29, 2020

"Storytime: Chinese and English" in Squirrel Hill, March 7.


via Ed Massery.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branch in Squirrel Hill will hold its next "Storytime: Chinese and English" on Saturday, March 7.
Celebrate our city’s diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both Chinese and English for children and their parents or caregivers.
Storytime runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am and is free and open to the public. The Carnegie Library branch in Squirrel Hill is located at 5801 Forbes Ave. (map), accessible by buses 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, and 74.

Dagu Rice Noodle (大鼓米线) coming (very) soon to Squirrel Hill.



Signage is now up at Dagu Rice Noodle (大鼓米线), coming to Squirrel Hill. Last week the owners had had been aiming for an opening by the end of February. Dagu Rice Noodle is a chain of Chinese restaurants with its first Pittsburgh location at 5829 Forbes Ave. (map), which most recently housed The Magic Noodle and Sun Penang.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Dumpling Tour of Squirrel Hill's Chinese restaurants on March 27, part of International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference.


At Everyday Noodles, by Laura Petrilla for Pittsburgh Magazine.

Pittsburgh Magazine's Hal B. Klein will lead a Dumpling Tour of Squirrel Hill's Chinese restaurants on March 27 as part of the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference held in Pittsburgh from March 27 through 29.
Pittsburgh long has embraced one of the world’s most universally delightful foods — the dumpling. Here, our love of small, stuffed orbs of dough began with the pierogi. More recently, Pittsburgh’s new wave of immigrants from China has infused Squirrel Hill, one of the city’s most exciting dining neighborhoods, with suan cai jiaozi, xiaolongbao and san xian. Join Pittsburgh Magazine dining critic Hal B. Klein for a tour that’ll have you tasting (and, perhaps, pinching) Pittsburgh dumplings old and new. Transportation will be provided to and from Squirrel Hill, but there will be some walking, too. $125; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
Ticket information and conference registration details are available at the IACP's website.

The Island of Cats (ねことじいちゃん) to open Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival, March 20.



The fifth annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival at the Row House Cinema will open on March 20 with two screenings of The Island of Cats (ねことじいちゃん).
Let’s embrace our feline friends for a night of carefree fun! It's Opening Night of The Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival. We’re turning Row House Cinema into a cat “island” oasis and showing THE ISLAND OF CATS

With live cats on-site, cat decor, photo opportunities with cat guests and more! All attendees get complimentary cat swag, popcorn, and Ramune Japanese soda.
Tickets will be available shortly. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

"Japanese Action Comic Punk band" Peelander-Z returns to Pittsburgh, April 28.



Japanese punk band Peelander-Z will play in Pittsburgh on April 28. Wikipedia provides an overview of their live shows:
They perform on stage and appear in color-coordinated costumes, which they state are not costumes, but their skin. The costumes range from sentai style suits, to kimono, to rubber Playmobil style wigs. There is also a tiger costume and a giant squid/guitar costume to coincide with the song "Mad Tiger". Another aspect of their routine is their on-stage antics such as human bowling (diving head-first into bowling pins), pretending to hit each other with chairs in imitation of pro-wrestlers, and mid-performance piggyback rides. They often allow audience members on stage to join in on the fun, and often dive into the audience or hang from a balcony as part of their act.
They will play at Club Cafe on the South Side (map) and tickets for the 21+ show are available online.

Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul (劇場版メイドインアビス 深き魂の黎明) in Pittsburgh, April 13 and 15.



The 2020 Japanese movie Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul (劇場版メイドインアビス 深き魂の黎明) will play in Pittsburgh on April 13 and 15.
Dawn of the Deep Soul continues the epic adventure of plucky Riko and Reg who are joined by their new friend Nanachi. Together they descend into the Abyss’ treacherous fifth layer, the Sea of Corpses, and encounter the mysterious Bondrewd, a legendary White Whistle whose shadow looms over Nanachi’s troubled past. Bondrewd is ingratiatingly hospitable, but the brave adventurers know things are not always as they seem in the enigmatic Abyss...
It will play at the Cinemark theater in Robinson. Tickets are available online; the April 13 show is dubbed in English while the April 15 is in Japanese with English subtitles.

Free Chinese, Japanese, Korean classes in Pittsburgh in March.


via the Republic of Korea's Flickr page.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will continue to offer free Chinese, Japanese, and Korean classes at some of its branches in March. Check out the class information below in addition to its language resources on the shelves and online.

As the library notes: these classes are free; registration is not required; no materials are needed and nothing needs to be bought; new participants are welcome at any time; classes are for adults (unless otherwise noted) but well-behaved young people are welcome to join as well.

Pitt sends message to its student community about racism and xenophobia against Asian students.

Kenyon Bonner, the Vice Provost and Dean of Students at the University of Pittsburgh, sent an announcement to the Pitt student population yesterday about the coronavirus's potential impact on health and well-being. The message also included a message about curbing racism and xenophobia that has been directed against Asian-American and international students at Pitt:
In addition to our physical wellness, it is important that during this time we remain committed to our communal well-being. Pitt aims to be an inclusive community in which everyone feels like they belong and are valued. Disappointedly, some members of our community have used the coronavirus as a vehicle to spew hateful rhetoric targeted at some of our international, Asian American students, and people who are perceived to have been in contact with COVID-19. This type of treatment is wrong, insensitive, harmful, and contrary to the University’s values. Although this outbreak started in China, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not place a person at higher risk for this illness.

As you discuss the coronavirus, please keep a few considerations in mind:


Together, we can make our campus feel inclusive for everyone by treating each other with dignity and respect and sharing accurate information with our fellow community members.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Input requested for potential Asian American Studies Program at Pitt.



Groups at the University of Pittsburgh are gathering information to advocate for the creation of an Asian American Studies minor or certificate program.
The Asian Student Alliance's University Affairs Committee (UAC) is hoping to create an Asian American Studies Program that will be accompanied by an Asian American Studies Certificate. Unlike the Asian Studies Certificate that is granted through the Asian Studies Center, which focuses on topics and issues in Asia, the Asian American Studies Program and Certificate will focus mainly on Asian American issues and topics. This means the certificate will focus moreso on issues in America that concern and affect Asian Americans. Examples of possible topics include (1) affirmative action, (2) the model minority myth, (3) representation in Western/American media; and (4) Asian American history. The University Affairs Committee is looking to record responses from individuals that will show why an Asian American Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh is important and necessary. Select testimonials will be included in a larger presentation that will be shown to University of Pittsburgh faculty and staff.
Those interested in sharing their thoughts and testimonials are invited to complete this Google Doc.

City-Paper: How Jasmine Cho's 'pursuit of all things yummy' turned into a hunger for Asian American representation.



Yesterday the Pittsburgh City-Paper profiled local baker, author, and activist Jasmine Cho, who has followed a big 2019 with scheduled appearances at the East Coast Asian American Student Union and the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival.
Jasmine Cho laughs as she says this, but it's no joke. In the past year, the artist, cookie activist, and founder of Yummyholic has published a book, given a TEDx talk, been featured in national media like NPR and the Huffington Post, placed first in a Food Network competition, and had Mayor Bill Peduto officially proclaim Jan. 28 Jasmine Cho day; all of this achieved while Cho pursued an art therapy degree from Carlow University.

Cho’s step into the spotlight has stemmed gradually from her unique combination of cookie art and social justice. Today, the Los Angeles native and current Pittsburgher uses cookies to initiate conversations on race. Cho creates intricate portraits of important Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, using cookies to give representation to a historically underrepresented community.

Profiles of KIIN Lao & Thai Eatery.



Yesterday the Pittsburgh City-Paper profiled KIIN Lao & Thai Eatery, which opened in November in the space formerly occupied by Bangkok Balcony.
In early September, Norraset (Nor) and Rujira Nareedokmai closed their beloved Thai restaurant, Bangkok Balcony, after a 15-year run. But fans of the Squirrel Hill restaurant can rest easy: The Nareedokmais aren't going anywhere, just shifting their focus a little to the northeast. KIIN Lao & Thai Eatery is now open in Bangcok Balcony's former spot with a mix of Thao and Laotian cuisines.

Because the more than thousand-mile border shared between Laos and Thailand is so blurred — the regions have passed flavors for centuries — I expected the menu to be a jumble of dishes from both countries. But instead, it’s divided neatly in half, the Lao side full of noodle soups and sticky rice; Thai delivering curries and stir-fry noodles. The separation allows diners to see where the two cuisines diverge as well as where they connect. And for the devoted fans of Bangkok Balcony, the split makes it easy to find favorites that were carried over to KIIN.
Pittsburgh Magazine and NextPittsburgh also reviewed the new restaurant last fall.

2019 Chinese animated film White Snake (白蛇:缘起) in Pittsburgh, March 3.



The Row House Cinema will host the Pittsburgh premiere of the 2019 Chinese animated film White Snake (白蛇:缘起) on March 3. The distributor writes:
From Light Chaser Animation, one of China’s premiere animation studios, comes a visually stunning new take on a classic legend. One day a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, and together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, developing deeper feelings for one another along the way. But as they learn more about her past, they uncover a darker plot of supernatural forces vying for power, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love.
Tickets are available online. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

History of Boba workshop, March 1 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh's Taiwanese Student Association will host a History of Boba workshop on March 1.
When was boba created? How was boba made back then and what inspired the creators to innovate this refreshing drink? Come out to Pitt TSA’s History of Boba Workshop to learn more about the boba and at the end, you can even create your own boba!
It runs from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in 630 William Pitt Union (map).

"Storytime: Chinese and English" in Squirrel Hill, February 29.


via Ed Massery.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branch in Squirrel Hill will hold its next "Storytime: Chinese and English" on Saturday, February 29.
Celebrate our city’s diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both Chinese and English for children and their parents or caregivers.
Storytime runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am and is free and open to the public. The Carnegie Library branch in Squirrel Hill is located at 5801 Forbes Ave. (map), accessible by buses 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, and 74.

Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) stays in Pittsburgh through (at least) March 5.



The Oscar-winning 2019 Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) will keep playing throughout the Pittsburgh region through at least March 5. A synopsis from the movie's official site:
Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale.

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, PARASITE showcases a modern master at the top of his game.
Here is a list of currently-scheduled screenings:

SAP Ariba hiring bilingual Mandarin-English Procurement Operations Specialist.

SAP Ariba hiring bilingual Mandarin-English Procurement Operations Specialist, this time through a staffing agency. Though not specified on this job ad, please note that this position is usually an overnight one in order to correspond to Asian time zones.
The Procurement Operations Specialist will act as the face and voice of the organization to the customer, building relationships in each interaction.

Responsibilities of the Procurement Operations Specialist:
  • Handle inbound customer calls in a courteous and kind manner
  • Use CRM to document and escalate issues as needed

Qualifications for the Procurement Operations Specialist:
  • MUST BE FLUENT IN BOTH ENGLISH AND MANDARIN
  • Customer service skills, strong troubleshooting and problem solving skills

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Finding a Balance Between Diversity and Language Standards in a University-Level Japanese Language Program," March 6 at Pitt.



The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh will host Shinsuke Tsuchiya of Brigham Young University and his talk "Finding a Balance Between Diversity and Language Standards in a University-Level Japanese Language Program" on March 6.
One of the challenges that language professionals face in our increasingly diverse communities is establishing a balance between diversity and language standards. While Standard Japanese can be considered a common language to interact with the majority of Japanese speakers who may not be accustomed to nonnative speech (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012), the strict requirement to follow the monolingual standard may disregard the legitimacy of multilingual speakers, including nonstandard dialect speakers. The presenter will discuss pros and cons of setting standards in language programs and relevant findings concerning the native speaker fallacy (Tsuchiya, 2019). Then the presenter will share his shifting perspectives on errors, interlanguage, dialectal differences, and certain “nonstandard” practices (e.g. translanguaging) in his experience of training, hiring, and supervising teaching assistants at Brigham Young University.
It starts at 4:00 pm in 208B Cathedral of Learning (map) and is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Tripalink hiring Bilingual (Chinese) Sales / Marketing Specialist.

Tripalink, a California-based real estate agency that expanded to Pittsburgh last year and caters to Chinese international students, is hiring a Bilingual (Chinese) Sales / Marketing Specialist. An excerpt of the duties from the job ad:
Sales Dimension
  • Determine clients’ needs and budget to propose guidance and solutions for them.
  • Get familiar with all the properties, create introduction strategy and display properties for potential tenants in both open house activities and individual visits.
  • Intermediate negotiation processes, consult clients on market conditions, prices, legal requirements, and related matters, ensuring a fair and honest dealing.
  • Prepare necessary paperwork (contracts, leases, statements, etc.) and manage the check-in / check-out processes.
  • Cooperate with vendors to solve maintenance issues, providing customer-oriented service to tenants.

Tiny Talk with Karen Lue, February 27 at Small Mall.



Lawrenceville's Small Mall will host its next Tiny Talk with artist and curator Karen Lue on February 27.
Join us for a Tiny Talk and Micro Exhibit with Small Mall featured artist Karen Lue!

View and buy work by Karen and hear her give a tiny artist talk.
It's free and open to the public. Small Mall is located at 5300 Butler St. (map).

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pittsburgh's 2020 Lunar New Year Parade through Squirrel Hill, March 1.



The 2020 Lunar New Year Parade is scheduled to move up Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill on Sunday, March 1. Initially scheduled for February 9, it was postponed to accommodate local community members' efforts in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. It will begin at 12:30 pm at Murray and Phillips Ave. (map) and move to Forbes Ave.

Extreme Job (극한직업), Mal-Mo-E: The Secret Mission (말모이) at Pitt's Korean Film Festival in March.



Two 2019 films will comprise the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures' 17th annual Korean Film Festival at the University of Pittsburgh. Extreme Job (극한직업)---the top-grossing film in Korea last year---will play on March 20 and Mal-Mo-E: The Secret Mission (말모이) on March 27. Both films run from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in 332 Cathedral of Learning (map) and are free and open to the public.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dagu Rice Noodle (大鼓米线) aiming to open later this month in Squirrel Hill.



Signage went up in November at 5829 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map) for Dagu Rice Noodle (大鼓米线), a Chinese chain that opened its first American location in Las Vegas and has another location in Cleveland. The owner says they are aiming to open by the end of this month, pending health department approval.
In the middle of the Ming Dynasty, there was a restaurant without a sign near the flowery Drum tower in Yunnan, Kunming. Whenever the city had a happy news, people rang the drum to celebrate. Along with the joy of drumbeat, people flocked to the unnamed little restaurant and had bowls of hot rice noodle soup, meaning “smooth long time”. Because of this joy, with the honesty of the shop owner, the little restaurant eventually became a century-old business.
It replaces The Magic Noodle, which opened in May 2019 and in turn replaced Sun Penang, which closed a few months before that.

Golden Dragon Acrobats in Johnstown, March 5.



The Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform at the University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown campus on March 5.
The World's Leading Chinese Acrobatic Troupe. The Golden Dragon Acrobats hail from Cangzhou, Hebei province, in the People’s Republic of China and have toured the United States continuously since 1978. Its members are athletes, actors, and artists who have studied and trained for their craft since early childhood. Their spellbinding artistry and amazing athleticism will thrill audiences and children alike.
Tickets range from $37 to $42. The group will perform from 7:30 pm at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center (map).

Yanlai Dance Academy's Wings of the Soul, February 29 at August Wilson Center.



Wings of the Soul, the 2020 installment of Yanlai Dance Academy's annual winter performance, will take place on February 29 at the August Wilson Center in the downtown Cultural District.
Happy New Year Every One!

Our annual performance is coming soon! We would like to invite you to our show!

This is our school 16th Annual Performance on Feb 29th Saturday 2020 at August Wilson Center ( 980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222). This year's performance theme is "Wings of the soul", there will be 23 dances range from classical Chinese dance from Hang Dynasty - walking into the ancient world of Chinese thousands of years ago - to minority dances such as Xin Jiang, Mongolian, Tibetan, Yi, and Dai dance, where our audience will see the world of enthusiasm and passion. We hope that through our performances the audience can learn about many historical stories and cultures hidden behind the identity of "Chinese" also enjoyed the colorful, beautiful costumes, and the joyful and deep music. We can't wait to show everybody our new product.
Tickets for the 6:00 to 8:00 pm show are available for purchase online. The August Wilson African American Cultural Center is located at 980 Liberty Ave. (map).

Friday, February 21, 2020

Chinese Language & Culture Club Meeting at Pitt, February 24.


Chinese Dim Sum, by Lezlie (Creative Commons)

The University of Pittsburgh's Chinese Language & Culture Club Meeting will next meet on Monday, February 24. The meetings are open to the Pitt student community, and located in the Global Hub on the first floor of Posvar Hall (map). Meetings are generally held each week; upcoming meetings this term include February 24, March 4, March 18, March 23, April 1, and April 6.

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Leadership Academy Reception, March 6 at Pitt.



The University of Pittsburgh will host an Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Leadership Academy Reception on March 6. The reception coincides with the APAICS Regional Leadership Academy in Pittsburgh on March 6 and 7:
The APAICS Regional Leadership Academy is a two-day leadership training event for community stakeholders, individuals seeking to run for public office, current elected officials, and those with an interest in policymaking or social justice.

The Pittsburgh Regional Leadership Academy is co-hosted in partnership with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. APAICS and the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs are proud to deliver programming that is consists of interactive political training with topics ranging from developing your campaign plan, communications, digital organizing, power mapping, volunteer recruitment and management, and fundraising.
The deadline to apply for the academy is February 24 but all indications are that this community reception is free and open to the public. The reception will be held in the Global Hub on the ground floor of Posvar Hall (map) from 6:00 pm.

Asian American Leadership Forum Happy Hour Mixer at Yuzu Kitchen, February 26.


via Jorge Santiago, 2019

Downtown's Yuzu Kitchen will host an Asian American Leadership Forum Happy Hour Mixer on February 26.
The Asian American Leadership Forum presents Networking Opportunity Happy Hour. Come join us for an evening of fun, friends, and drinks! This is your chance to meet and mingle with local professionals across all environmental fields. Purchase of a ticket gets you a free drink and appetizers!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Japan Association curse strikes again: Happy Home Buffet on McKnight Road to close for good, be replaced by Ocean Treasures Cajun Seafood and Bar.



McKnight Road's Happy Home Buffet, which recently posted news of a temporary closure on its door, will close for good and be replaced by Ocean Treasures Cajun Seafood and Bar. The seafood place has another location in Monroeville.

I frequently joke that the Japan Association of Greater Pittsburgh has this effect on businesses that host its annual New Years party. In recent years Golden Palace in Robinson, Tokyo Sushi Buffet, Misaki, and Old Town Buffet have all closed shortly after hosting the Japan Association's event. Hopefully they'll choose the Oakland McDonald's next year.

Japanese guitarist Mr. JIMMY brings his Led Zeppelin tribute band back to Pittsburgh, March 6.



Japanese guitarist Akio “Jimmy” Sakurai will play at the Hard Rock Cafe on March 6 with his Led Zeppelin tribute band Mr. JIMMY Led Zeppelin Revival.
Japanese guitarist Akio “Jimmy” Sakurai has dedicated over 35 years of his life to faithfully recreating vintage Led Zeppelin concerts note-for-note. With years of practice and an incredible backstory, MR. JIMMY is a Led Zeppelin revival like you’ve never experienced before!

In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of headphones and a pile of Led Zeppelin records. Moving to Tokyo, Akio worked as a “salary man” by day, but by night became “MR. JIMMY,” adopting the guitar chops and persona of Jimmy Page. For 35 years, Akio recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs, until the “real” Jimmy Page stopped by one night, and Akio’s life changed forever.
General admission tickets are still available from $35. Pittsburgh's Hard Rock Cafe is located in Station Square (map).

Love Live! Series 9th Anniversary LOVE LIVE! FEST in Pittsburgh, February 25.



The movie Love Live! Series 9th Anniversary LOVE LIVE! FEST will play in Pittsburgh on February 25. From the distributor:
Captured live from Saitama Super Arena (Stadium Mode) in Saitama, Japan in January, Love Live! Series 9th Anniversary LOVE LIVE! FEST will feature not only “Aqours” from “Love Live! Sunshine!!” and “Nijigasaki High School Idol Club” from the newest game, but also "μ's" from “Love Live!,” which has not been on stage since 2016.
It will play locally at the AMC Loews Waterfront and tickets for the 7:00 pm show are available online.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

2019 Japanese film Children of the Sea (海獣の子供) coming to Pittsburgh, from April 20.



The 2019 Japanese animated film Children of the Sea (海獣の子供) will play in Pittsburgh from April 20. The distributor summarizes:
When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

Children of the Sea is the latest feature from Japan’s STUDIO4C (known for Tekkonkinkreet, MFKZ, Mind Game, Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and others), and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro). Children of the Sea is adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
It has been announced locally for the Southside Works Cinema, though additional theaters and ticket information will not be available until March 13.

Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) stays in Pittsburgh through (at least) February 27.



The Oscar-winning 2019 Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) will keep playing throughout the Pittsburgh region through at least February 27. A synopsis from the movie's official site:
Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale.

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, PARASITE showcases a modern master at the top of his game.
Here is a list of currently-scheduled screenings:

My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising (僕のヒーローアカデミア THE MOVIE ヒーローズ:ライジング) in Pittsburgh, from February 26.



The 2019 animated movie My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising (僕のヒーローアカデミア THE MOVIE ヒーローズ:ライジング) will play in Pittsburgh at several local theaters from February 26. From the distributor:
Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it’s more like a vacation … until they’re attacked by a villain with an eerily familiar Quirk! Now, Deku and his friends are the island’s only hope.
It will play locally at AMC Loews Waterfront, the Hollywood Theater, the Southside Works Cinema, AMC South Hills Village, the Waterworks Cinema, and the Cinemark theaters in Monaca, Monroeville, North Hills, Pittsburgh Mills, and Robinson. Tickets are available online and it will play here through at least March 7.

"Making Green Tea For America - And For Japan," February 21 at Pitt.


via cyclonebill (Creative Commons)

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Robert Hellyer and "Making Green Tea For America - And For Japan" on February 21.
Join Professor Robert Hellyer of Wake Forest University for a discussion on the socio-economic history of green tea in America and Japan in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Soon after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan dramatically expanded tea production—especially of high-quality sencha green tea—specifically to meet demand from the United States, then a green tea consuming nation. This presentation will outline that export trade highlighting how tea production helped to ease social tensions in the nascent Japanese nation-state by providing employment for Tokugawa retainers who had opposed the new central regime during the Boshin War (1868-1869). It will also explain the ways in which a change in American tastes—the 1920s’ embrace of black teas produced in South Asia—brought a decline in Japanese tea exports to the United States. Facing a glut, Japanese tea merchants aggressively marketed sencha at home for the first time, emphasizing its health benefits. As a result, more Japanese began to consume sencha, setting in motion a trend that made that type of green tea the definitive daily beverage it remains today.
The event starts from 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map).

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

1963 Kurosawa film High and Low (天国と地獄) in Pittsburgh, from March 13.



The 1963 Akira Kurosawa film High and Low (天国と地獄) will play at the Row House Cinema from March 13 to 19, part of the theater's Film Noir series. The Criterion Collection provides a summary:
Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku), the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain's detective novel King's Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on contemporary Japanese society.
Tickets are available online. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Profiles on Bloomfield's Cobra Lounge, a new space for yakiniku, Korean BBQ, and DJs..



Cobra Lounge, a new yakiniku + Korean BBQ place slash event space in Bloomfield, has been the subject of two recent profiles in Pittsburgh Magazine and NextPittsburgh. From the former:
The heart of the Cobra experience is the array of 10 smokeless Shinpo Yakiniku grills in the rectangular dining room. Burnell and Piso said they spent a lot of time researching Korean-style barbeque locations in Los Angeles, New York and other places prior to opening Cobra. The experience draws from those Korean culinary influences, and also is informed by the Japanese technique of yakiniku, meaning that all the butchering is done prior to service. “There’s no need for scissors or a steak knife. It’s perfectly butchered for one bite,” says Piso.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Participants needed for Bon Odori in Oakland "Open Streets" event, May 31.



One of Pittsburgh's Open Streets events will take place in Oakland in 2020 and will feature a Bon Odori performance. The Japanese Nationality Room is currently recruiting participants for the May 31 event.
Bon Odori - Join us at Open Streets in Oakland on Sunday May 31, 2020.
We are recruiting Bon Odori participants. It's really easy to learn the steps. If you have Yukata or Happi, it's a great opportunity to wear it too! See our FB Event page for registration.

Japanese film The Little House (小さいおうち) at Maridon Museum, March 6.



The 2014 Japanese movie The Little House (小さいおうち) will play at the Maridon Museum on March 6, the first installment of this spring's Japanese Film Series.
A woman looks back on her family’s life in Tokyo before and during WWII. A maid arrives from the countryside to work for an upper middle-class family. She fits in well, but everyone’s emotions are stirred up with the arrival of a student.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm. The event is free but reservations are required and can be made by calling 724-282-0123. The Maridon Museum is an Asian art museum at 322 N. McKean St. in downtown Butler (map) that runs film series periodically throughout the year, in addition to art classes, book club meetings, and its regular exhibits.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Upcoming Japanese movie Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (デジモンアドベンチャー LAST EVOLUTION 絆) in Pittsburgh, March 25.



The upcoming Japanese movie Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (デジモンアドベンチャー LAST EVOLUTION 絆) will play in Pittsburgh on March 25. From the distributor:
Tai is now a university student, living alone, working hard at school, and working every day, but with his future still undecided. Meanwhile, Matt and others continue to work on Digimon incidents and activities that help people with their partner Digimon. When an unprecedented phenomenon occurs, the DigiDestined discover that when they grow up, their relationship with their partner Digimon will come closer to an end.

As a countdown timer activates on the Digivice, they realize that the more they fight with their partner Digimon, the faster their bond breaks. Will they fight for others and lose their partner? The time to choose and decide is approaching fast. There is a short time before “chosen children” will become adults. This is the last adventure of Tai and Agumon.
The movie is in Japanese with English subtitles. It will play locally at AMC Loews Waterfront, the Cinemarks in Monroeville and Pittsburgh Mills, and Southside Works Cinema, and tickets are available online.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Work progresses on second Fuku Tea location.


via @margittai

Work continues on the second Fuku Tea location at 300 S. Craig St. (map). The new bubble tea place will be open this spring, Margittai Architects write on Facebook. The owners of Fuku Tea also run Sushi Fuku, which has three restaurants in Oakland, including one a few storefronts away.

Pitt hiring part-time Japanese teacher for Summer 2020 start.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures is hiring a part-time Japanese instructor for a Summer 2020 start.
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures seeks a part-time instructor of Japanese Language starting Summer Term 2020. Instructors must have a bachelor’s degree and experience teaching Japanese conversation classes at University level more than one year. Native speakers of Japanese are preferred. Duties include teaching recitation sections. Interested applicants should remit a CV and cover letter. The position will be filled as soon as qualified candidates are found.

The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is committed to building and fostering a culturally diverse environment. Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills and ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals in support of a diverse community are required.
Those interested can apply online.

Nicole Chung at City of Asylum, May 11.


via nicolechung.net

Pittsburgh's City of Asylum will host Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know, on May 11 as part of its Memoir Series. A summary of the book, from Chung's official site:
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?

Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean immigrant parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes of giving her a better life; that forever feeling slightly out of place was simply her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as she grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
The event runs from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Alphabet City on the North Side (map). It's free, but tickets are required and are available online.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kuniko Yamamoto and "Origami Tales" in Pittsburgh, May 14 - 17.



Kuniko Yamamoto and "Origami Tales" will be in Pittsburgh from May 14 to 17 as part of the EQT Children's Festival.
Welcome to the infinite world of Origami! In Japanese, ori- means "to fold" and -gami means "paper". Using origami, music and audience participation, storyteller Kuniko Yamamoto provides a magical entry into Japanese culture. In her show Origami Tales, mythological character masks and puppets, amazing flowers and a dragon – all made from origami – set the stage while Kuniko shares heartfelt stories from ancient Japan. Expect boundless imagination out of simple paper folding and an uplifting world of storytelling.
The performances will take place at the Trust Arts Education Center in the Cultural District (map). Tickets are available online.

Vietnamese movie Song Lang in Pittsburgh, April 30.



The 2018 Vietnamese movie Song Lang will play in Pittsburgh on April 30, hosted by ReelQ at the City of Asylum. A Hollywood Reporter review provides an overview:
In Vietnamese musical culture, the song lang is a percussion instrument used in modern folk opera cai luong. The idea is that its rhythms not only guide the opera, but also the musician, down a moral path in life. The words literally translate to “two men.” That instrument provides the philosophical backbone of writer-director Leon Le’s low-key Song Lang, set in the world of cai luong theater and contemplating a good deal more than simply a tragic, non-starter romance. Delving into suppressed artistic drive, abandonment and karma, Le’s debut could be described as a uniquely Vietnamese hybrid of Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise.

Though the film has been kicking around for a while, its precise production design, palpable mood and beautifully understated yearning should keep it on both the LGBTQ and Asian festival circuits for the foreseeable future, and its intimate tone will make it an ideal addition to streaming services.
The movie starts at 7:00 pm at Alphabet City on the North Side (map). It's free and open to the pubic, though tickets are required and can be reserved online.

Black and white version of Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) at Row House Cinema, February 21 - 27.



The black and white version of Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning Parasite (기생충) premiered widely on February 7 and will play in Pittsburgh at the Row House Cinema from February 21 - 27.

Tickets now available for Pittsburgh premiere of 2019 Chinese animated film White Snake (白蛇:缘起), March 3.



Tickets are now available the Pittsburgh premiere of the 2019 Chinese animated film White Snake (白蛇:缘起) on March 3 at the Row House Cinema. The distributor writes:
From Light Chaser Animation, one of China’s premiere animation studios, comes a visually stunning new take on a classic legend. One day a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, and together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, developing deeper feelings for one another along the way. But as they learn more about her past, they uncover a darker plot of supernatural forces vying for power, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love.
The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

2019 Masaaki Yuasa film Ride Your Wave (きみと、波にのれたら) in Pittsburgh, February 19.



The 2019 Masaaki Yuasa film Ride Your Wave (きみと、波にのれたら) will play in Pittsburgh on February 19. From the distributor:
From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.

Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?
It will play locally at the Cinemark theater in Monroeville in Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are available online.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) stays in Pittsburgh through (at least) February 20.



The Oscar-winning 2019 Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (기생충) will keep playing throughout the Pittsburgh region through at least February 13. A synopsis from the movie's official site:
Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale.

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, PARASITE showcases a modern master at the top of his game.
Here is a list of currently-scheduled screenings: