Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace: Activism in Japan and the US", August 5.

The Pittsburgh group "Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace" will host a presentation in Oakland on August 5 by Joyce Wagner of Iraq Veterans Against the War
on the dangers of both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy in light of the proposed repeal on (sic) Article 9 of Japan's peace constitution and the on-going consequences of the meltdown at the Fukushiima Daichi plant.
Click the flyer above to enlarge. The presentation will be held at the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Ave. in Oakland (map), and will be followed by a Skype conversation with peace activists in Kobe. "Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace" has long held events to locally mark the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

Monday, July 29, 2013

1974 Japanese movie The Street Fighter in Dormont, August 7 and 11.

Dormont's The Hollywood Theater will show the 1974 Japanese martial arts movie The Street Fighter (激突!殺人拳) on Wednesday, August 7, and Sunday, August 11. A brief comment on the X-rated film, from
Simply put, Terry Tsurugi (Sonny Chiba) is one mean bastard. If you don't keep your promises, watch out. Tsurugi's the kind of guy who'd not only splatter your brains on the pavement for your betrayal, but also be more than happy to make out with your sister right before selling her into a life of prostitution. Really.
Wikipedia says it was "the first film to receive an X-rating in the United States solely for violence".

The movie starts at 7:30 pm on Wednesday and 7:00 pm on Sunday, and tickets are $7. And if you'd like to take the subway to the theater, it's a little more than a block southeast of Potomac Station.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Japanese Nationality Room turns 14.

The Japanese Nationality Room in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning was dedicated on July 25, 1999. Located in room 317 on the Cathedral's third floor, the room is modeled after a traditional 18th-century minka. Wikipedia provides a good overview of the room's interior---which was largely built in Japan, disassembled, and rebuilt in Pittsburgh---while the 24-page program from the dedication ceremony, scanned and preserved by the university's Documenting Pitt archive, covers the ceremony as well as information on the budget, donors, and other contributors. At the time, it says, the total expenditure was $507,047.64, roughly 80% being building and building-related expenses.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

KBox looking for suggestions for Japanese songs to carry.

In May we read about KBox, the Asian-style karaoke place on Oakland's Craig Street, adding 8,000 new Korean songs to the 13,000 English-language and over 70,000 Chinese songs available. Today a reader on Facebook passed along news that they are soliciting suggestions for new Japanese songs to add. You can view a selection of songs via this link and can pass along your comments or suggestions to KBox via Facebook or email (Pittsburgh.ktv at gmail). The file is massive, with over 25,000 songs, so you might have some luck simply choosing popular songs and passing along your suggestions.

"Stories Joyfully Embroidered: Shaanxi Folk Textiles from Northern China" at SAMA, June 28 - October 12.

Stories Joyfully Embroidered Shaanxi Folk Textiles from Northern China

"Stories Joyfully Embroidered: Shaanxi Folk Textiles from Northern China" is making its US debut at Loretto's Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (map) through October 12. The SAMA website says:
The large and colorful banners featured in Stories Joyfully Embroidered belong to a rich folk tradition that celebrates the legends and customs of ancient China. Subjects include depictions of foundational folk heroes such as Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor; and deity figures including Nuwa, the half-human, half-dragon goddess who created the first men and women. Other themes include symbolic images of longevity, good fortune, and many children, while others encompass cheerful scenes from everyday life. Together, the works in this exhibition provide an overview of Chinese folk culture that is not only fascinating, but delightfully uplifting as well.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to see a type of art that is rarely seen outside of China,” said SAMA Curator for Visual Arts Dr. Scott Dimond.
More details about the pieces available in the Exhibition Catalog (.pdf file). The museum is located at St. Francis University nearly two hours east of Pittsburgh, is open Tuesday through Saturday until 5 pm, and is free.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chinese university students volunteer at local food bank.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette both had stories on the 17th about a group of Chinese students from Zhejiang University who volunteered at a local food bank.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cupcakes and culture at Yummyholic's free "Summer in Saigon", July 24.

Summer in Saigon Pittsburgh

Yummyholic's first Cupcakes & Culture Series event is "Summer in Saigon", July 24, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Biddle's Escape in Regent Square (map). An excerpt from Yummyholic's website:
Get ready for what will be the first in a series of five events collectively called the Cupcakes & Culture Series. Cupcakes & Culture 101 introduces Yummyholic’s first Cupcake Adventure called “Summer in Saigon” – a tres leches style cake infused with a concoction of sweetened condensed milk and Vietnamese dark roast coffee topped off with whipped cream lightly flavored with espresso. Some comments made by taste testers so far include: “It tasted like heaven,” “It was the best thing I ever put in my mouth,” “Oh my god, that was amaaaaaazing!”

Every Cupcakes & Culture event will feature FREE Yummyholic cupcake samples, finger foods from the best Asian eateries in Pittsburgh, music/entertainment, and a gathering of local Asian and diversity organizations that you can learn more about and plug yourself into. The greater purpose of these events is to make something awesome happen for our college-aged and young professional Asian American community here in Pittsburgh that tend to think there is nothing going on in this city that’s appealing enough to make you stay. It’s a way to introduce and strengthen our culture and community by increasing interaction. Yummyholic is basically using what it does best – cupcakes – to bring ALL people together to have a good time and hopefully learn something in the process.
Yummyholic is a local cupcakery slash apparel company started in 2012 by Jasmine Cho. Ahead of Summer in Saigon there will be cupcake samples available at the Local-Pittsburgh tent at Schenely Park's Vintage Grand Prix on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Films Seven Samurai, Yojimbo in Oakmont this month.

Those interested in seeing classic samurai films will have a couple more choices besides next week's Rashomon. Oakmont's The Oaks Theater (map) is showing Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samruai (七人の侍) tonight and Yojimbo (用心棒) on July 21 and 24. Showtimes are 6 pm, tickets are $6, and the theater is a relatively short drive from Pittsburgh if traffic cooperates.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rashomon for $2 at Melwood Screening Room, July 24.


As part of its occasional "Essential Cinema" series, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room (map) will show the 1950 Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon (羅生門) on July 24. The theater summarizes:
Considered one of the most brilliantly constructed films of all time, Rashomon has become synonymous with the subjectivity of truth. Set in medieval Japan, four witnesses give mutually contradictory accounts of a heinous crime. This masterpiece introduced Japanese cinema to the West, and was the surprise winner at 1951's Venice Film Fest, then went on to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
The movie starts at 8:00, is $2, and, according to the receptionist, is in Japanese with English subtitles.

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