Friday, August 14, 2015

Tomodachi Ties Through Taiko concert and farewell reception, August 15.

A concert and farewell reception for a group of 12 exchange students from Aichi Prefecture, Japan will be held on Sunday, August 15. The cohort from Nihon Fukushi Daigaku High School will visit Pittsburgh for one week "to practice taiko drumming with Pittsburgh Taiko and students from CAPA and Allderdice High Schools for the TOMODACHI Ties Through Taiko program", according to the latest Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania newsletter. The concert and farewell reception will start at 3:00 pm at the Pittsburgh CAPA School downtown (map):
See the results of the students' hard work this week at a joint performance by Pittsburgh Taiko, the Pittsburgh students, and the Japanese students. A Farewell Reception directly following the concert will wish the students safe travels on their trip back to Japan.
The visit is part of the TOMODACHI Initiative, formed by the US Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S.-Japan Council,
a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs.
You can see photos of the group's activities around Pittsburgh on the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and MCG Youth & Arts Facebook pages.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

T4U now open in Oakland.

via @taaysaghy.

T4U---a bubble tea, coffee, and dessert place---is now open at 3501 Forbes Ave (map). We first spotted it in June, opening in what was formerly a uniform store. Run by the people behind Oakland's Szechuan Express, it's one of two new Asian bubble tea places coming to the area.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet in Oakland now open.

Grand Opening promotion, via the Sichuan Gourmet Weibo page.

The Sichuan Gourmet location in Oakland is now open. Located at 328 Atwood St. (map), at the former India Garden spot, it is the restaurant's second location, after the original on Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

Co-owner Wei Yu told the Pitt News in June:
While his original location in Squirrel Hill has both Sichuan and American menus, Yu said his second location in Oakland will only have a Sichuan menu, to set itself apart from other Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood.

“The other restaurants are totally different,” he said. “They are tailored to American [tastes]. If you taste our food and compare to their food, you will find that the taste is not the same.”

The main difference, he said, is that his food will be much spicier.

“People from different parts of China have different tastes,” he said. “In east China, people eat sweeter foods. The sauce is more spicy in Sichuan.”

"Storytime: Japanese and English" at Carnegie Library in East Liberty, August 18.

The Carnegie Library in East Liberty will host "Storytime: Japanese and English" on Tuesday, August 18.
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.
The event runs from 11:00 to 11:30 am, and the library is located at 130 S. Whitfield Street (map).

Japanese Tea Ceremony and Obon Festival at Pittsburgh Zen Center, August 29.

The Pittsburgh Zen Center in Sewickley is hosting a Japanese Tea Ceremony and Obon Festival on Saturday, August 29. The tea ceremony will begin at 9:30:
Enjoy a demonstration of Japanese Tea Ceremony and have a cup prepared for you.
Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart.
Myoshu Pam Wren has been practicing Tea for over 20 years. She and her students will prepare and serve matcha and sweets to our guests.
RSVP is required for the tea ceremony and can be done online. The Obon component begins at 1:30. Obon, Wikipedia writes,
is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
The event is free but a $20 donation is suggested. The Pittsburgh Zen Center is located at 124 Willow Ridge Road in Sewickley (map), a suburb northwest of Pittsburgh.
Cartus---"a relocation company at the forefront of one-on-one, corporate language instruction across the country"---is still advertising a part-time position in Cranberry for a qualified Japanese-language tutor/trainer.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Szechuan Spice" coming to Shadyside.

The Asian-style awning came down from late last month from 5700 Centre Ave. (map) and was replaced by signage for Szechuan Spice. It advertises "Authentic Chinese and Japanese", and the phone number attached to it belonged to the now-closed Kanok Cuisine on S. Highland St.

It was most recently the home of Jimmy Tsang's Chinese Restaurant, which was in business from 1982 to 2011, and is on the first floor of the Kennilworth apartment complex. From 2001, it also had a Korean Grill component, with a Korean food menu that offered Korean barbeque.

Pitt's Asian Studies Center hiring temporary Program Assistant.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center posted an ad for a temporary Program Assistant position yesterday.
The Program Assistant will support the development and implementation of student/faculty-focused and community-based academic activities and events for the Asian Studies Center. Duties include coordination and preparation for Asian studies events, visitors, and lecture series. S/he will be responsible for set up and take down for events, developing itineraries for visitors as well as organizing event arrangements (catering, media equipment, and materials). Design and coordinate the distribution of communication materials for programs. Coordinate with Asian Studies staff and/or interns to address all aspects of event planning.
. . .
This position requires strong interpersonal and networking skills, outstanding organizational abilities, attention to detail, expertise in graphic design and social media, and ability to multi-task under pressure. Experience in higher education and Asian studies is desirable.
Those interested should apply through the Pitt AllTemps site.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace" recognized by Pittsburgh City Council.

The local group "Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace" was honored with a proclamation by Pittsburgh City Council on August 3.
WHEREAS, August 6 and 9, 2015 mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, which killed more than 210,000 people by the end of 1945 and exposed countless others to radiation;

WHEREAS, the world's nuclear arsenals include 15,700 weapons which currently have the explosive power
equivalent to 200,000 Hiroshima bombs and are capable of destroying all cities in the world the size of
Pittsburgh or larger, posing an intolerable threat to people everywhere; and,

WHEREAS, the potential for nuclear weapons use has become greater than ever before as a result of
widespread stockpiles of poorly secured nuclear materials, the escalation of terrorism and further proliferation
of nuclear weapons, as well as escalating political tensions in the Ukraine and the Middle East, all of which
have increased the risk of both intentional and accidental launch; and,

WHEREAS, in June of 2012 the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a strong resolution calling for
nuclear weapons abolition by 2020, and in subsequent years expressed support for the goal of the Vision 2020
Campaign led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and,

WHEREAS, the estimated cost of maintenance and modernization of nuclear bombs and warheads is projected
to exceed 355 billion dollars over the next decade. This is in stark contrast to federal programs that benefit U.S.
cities' infrastructure and their most needy residents, which are routinely subject to budget cuts; and,

WHEREAS, Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace (RHIP), has brought together an impressive coalition
of Pittsburgh organizations, institutions and individuals to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons
through education, activism, advocacy and art; and,

WHEREAS, the work of RHIP will include the screening of Hiroshima, Mon Amour by the Pittsburgh
Filmmakers followed by a Skype conversation with peace activists in Japan on August 5; a poster exhibit in the
City County Building during August; a 20 km Bike Around the Bomb on August 8 to raise awareness of an
atomic blast area radius in Pittsburgh; and co-sponsor a program at the University of Pittsburgh Law School on
the Marshall Islands lawsuits which seek compliance with Article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby commend and
recognize the important work of Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace and their advocacy for the need of
a reduction of stockpiles and safer handling procedures worldwide as steps toward a world free of nuclear
The group, founded in 2008, earned similar proclamations in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Ariba still looking for fluent Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin speakers for overnight customer support jobs in Pittsburgh.

Ariba---"the global leader in business commerce networks, supporting more than $450 billion dollars in yearly trade between over 1 million connected companies"---is again hiring Customer Support Specialists fluent in Japanese, Korean or Mandarin to work overnight shifts in its Pittsburgh office downtown. An excerpt from the job ad, posted on July 23:
The Customer Support Specialist is the face and voice of Ariba to our customers, building relationships in each interaction. Specialists help our customers maximize the benefits of Ariba solutions to facilitate a global exchange of goods and services in the world’s largest business to business trading community. They use their expertise and collaborate with team members and customers across the globe to provide detailed solutions that exceed expectations.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Provides inbound application and functional support for all relevant Ariba applications, both internally and externally, by way of email, webform and phone.
• Resolves 80% of issues without escalation.
• Respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner and within service level objectives.
• Successfully documents all requests through the CRM system while adhering to all documented procedures.
• Provides general assistance to other teams within Global Customer Support and Ariba.
• Conducts all customer interactions in a manner that presents Ariba in a positive light. Specialists are required to be respectful, fair, gracious and knowledgeable and to uphold the core values established by Ariba.
• Ensures that individual performance meets or exceeds the department standards.
• All other duties as assigned.

Basic Minimum Qualifications

•Bachelor’s degree or 2-year Technical school degree preferred
•Fluency in Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Japanese

Preferred Qualifications

• Technical aptitude. Knowledge in computer hardware and software applications along with experience using the Internet.
• Minimum of 1 year work experience preferred.
• Customer focus and stress tolerance.
• Superior communication and telephone skills.
• Friendly presence and helpful attitude; good interpersonal skills and ability to work well with others.
• Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.
• Ability to adapt support style to align with the technical capabilities of the customer.
• Previous customer service experience strongly desired.
• Fluency in at least one foreign language is highly desirable.
• Experience or education in working with individuals from diverse cultures preferred.
Ariba, Inc. is an EEO/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category.
The shifts are 7:00 pm to 4:00 am or 8:00 pm to 5:00 am, in order to accommodate East Asian time zones. More details are in the job ad, and those interested and qualified may apply online.