Saturday, June 30, 2018

Tanabata (Japanese star festival) at Carnegie Museum of Art, July 7.

"Sendai Tanabata," by Vanessa Smith (Creative Commons).

The Carnegie Museum of Art will host a Tanabata on July 7.
Celebrate the ones you love! Tanabata is a traditional Japanese day of celebration based on folklore surrounding the meeting of two lovers kept apart all but once per year. The day is a colorful and festive affair with fun for all!

The entire family can visit our Japanese print exhibition Hiroshige’s Tōkaidō Road, make a print to take home, add wishes to the Wish Trees, participate in a decoration contest, enjoy traditional music, create origami cranes, and sample Japanese cuisine in our courtyard.
It runs concurrent to the Hiroshige’s Tōkaidō Road exhibit, on display through July 22. The event is free with admission ($19.95 for adults, $11.95 for students with valid ID and children 3 to 18). The museum is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map), accessible by buses 28X, 58, 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 67, 69, 71B, 71D, 75, and P3.

Friday, June 29, 2018

2015's Tokyo Tribe (トウキョウ トライブ トゥー) at Row House Cinema, August 11, for midnight screening.

The 2015 film Tokyo Tribe (トウキョウ トライブ トゥー) will play at the Row House Cinema at midnight on August 11, the theater announced today. An A.V. Club review of the "demented rap musical" offers a final take:
With its over-the-top violence, cast of bizarre bit characters (a beat-boxing henchwoman, a DJ granny, etc.), and a compulsion to interject phallic imagery that borders on coprographia, Tokyo Tribe throws so much at the viewer that it’s easy to get swept up in its deranged energy and overlook the fact that the movie doesn’t have a flicker of a brain cell, being not much more than a celebration of aggressive stupidity. Sometimes, that’s fine.
Tickets for this 11:59 pm "Midnight Edition" showing are coming soon. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

Thursday, June 28, 2018

BTS's "DNA" at this week's K-pop Class, June 30.

The weekly K-pop Class at Yanlai Dance Academy will do BTS's "DNA" on June 30th. The class is held each Saturday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm, and the cost is $18 for a drop-in session. Yanlai Dance Academy is located at 2260 Babcock Blvd. in the North Hills (map).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Korean cyclists raising awareness of "comfort women" in US bike tour will be in Pittsburgh on August 14 and 15.

The 2018 iteration of the 3A Project will hit Pittsburgh on August 15, according to the itinerary posted online. The 3A Project is an annual nationwide tour by two Korean university students to raise awareness of "comfort women" and the contentious politics surrounding their legacy. The group will leave Chicago on August 9, arrive in Pittsburgh on August 14, and leave on the 15th on their way to Washington D.C.

Lisa Ko's The Leavers at Smithfield Critics Book Discussion Group, July 18 downtown.

Lisa Ko's The Leavers will be the topic of discussion with the Smithfield Critics Book Discussion Group at the downtown branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
One morning, Deming’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. Far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.
The group meets from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, and the library is located at 612 Smithfield St. (map).

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Shutaro Noguchi playing at Howlers, July 12.

Japanese musician Shutaro Noguchi (currently based in Louisville, Kentucky) will play at Howlers on July 12. A Forced Exposure review describes his forthcoming LP thus:
[T]he sound is wonderfully hybridized. At times its merger of prog, pop, fusionism and complexity make me think of a collision between the Glenn Phillips Band and Todd Rundgren's Utopia with Terje Rypdal sittin' in. I know I'm making it sound like a crazy quilt, and I suppose if sort of is, but only in the sense that it avoids the monochromaticism of so much contemporary music. Shutaro does not grab a single schtick and just shake it until his arm is tired. He mixes up of ballads and thunder (sometimes in a single song) in a way that strikes me as somehow very Japanese. But mostly it just strikes me about the head. In the most pleasant of ways. Take off your helmet and give it a try. You'll never know what hit you.
Howlers is located at 4509 Liberty Ave. in Bloomfield (map).

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Chinese movie Animal World (动物世界) in Pittsburgh, from June 29.

The 2018 Chinese movie Animal World (动物世界) will play in Pittsburgh from June 29. A Hollywood Reporter review shares some of the plot:
When Zheng Kaisi (Li Yifeng, a TV actor who won awards for his role in the film Mr. Six) is introduced as a disheartened floor entertainer in a clown suit at a gaming arcade, he seems to be suffering from a full-on superhero complex. Rapidly cross-cutting between the regular-guy Kaisi and his evil-looking clown persona, Han puts the audience on a puzzling trail. Is the protagonist human or superhuman?

In the first of several big action scenes, Kaisi morphs into a leering killer clown along the lines of the Joker, with two comically colored swords carried on his back. The people around him on a subway car transform into gooey animal-like monsters that spurt syrupy blood when hit by the clown’s martial arts attacks.

These are soon revealed as the violent fantasies of an impotent teenager, taking place in Kaisi’s head as he sits in a hospital ward visiting his mother, who has been in a coma for years. (Explanation comes later.) He has become acquainted with young nurse Qing (Zhou Dongu of SoulMate) but hasn’t the money to pursue her. In fact, it’s she who loans him the cash to pay for his mom’s care.
The movie, also starring Michael Douglas, was the sixth-highest grossing film in China during its opening week. It will play at AMC Loews Waterfront, with tickets and showtime information now available online via Fandango. 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.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (打ち上げ花火、下から見るか? 横から見るか?) in Pittsburgh, from July 3.

The 2017 Japanese animated film Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (打ち上げ花火、下から見るか? 横から見るか?) will play throughout the Pittsburgh area from July 3. The Genki Kawamura follow-up to Your Name which will play at the Cinemark Theaters in Monroeville and Pittsburgh Mills on July 3, 5, and 7, and will also play at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville from July 6 through 12 as part of an "In Case You Missed It" series. There will be a timely preview screening on the 4th as well. The distributor provides a summary:
Producer Genki Kawamura follows up his mega-hit Your Name with another tale of star-crossed teenage lovers with a sci-fi fantasy twist. Two junior high school pals, the shy Norimichi and fast-talking Yusuke, are goo-goo-eyed over the same elusive classmate, Nazuna. But Nazuna, unhappy over her mother’s decision to remarry and leave their countryside town, plans to run away and has silently chosen Norimichi to accompany her. When things don’t go as planned, Norimichi discovers that a glowing multi-color ball Nazuna found in the sea has the power to reset the clock and give them a second chance to be together. But each reset adds new complications and takes them father away from the real world – until they risk losing sight of reality altogether. Fireworks tells a simple story of adolescent longing that taps deep wells of emotion. It is tale of vulnerability and youthful wistfulness, of missed opportunities and long-ago dreams, the urgency of young lovers, and the desire to create a separate universe, a magic place outside of time, where they can be together.
The movie will play locally at Cinemark Theaters in Monroeville (map), Morgantown (map), and Pittsburgh Mills (map). Ticket and showtime information for all screenings is available online:

Friday, June 22, 2018

Everyday Noodles owner Mike Chen advocates for more regional Chinese restaurants in Pittsburgh.

Photo by Laura Petrilla.

Pittsburgh Magazine food editor Hal B. Klein talked with Everyday Noodles owner Mike Chen recently, in a piece that discusses his history in Pittsburgh and his experiences in the local restaurant scene. Speaking on the recent growth and diversification of Chinese restaurants in the area:
“The best thing to do is to offer your own style — real, authentic to where you’re from,” Chen, the three-time president of the 20-year-old Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association, says.

Restaurant owners are doing just that. Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 opened around the corner in 2016; Ting’s in McCandless Township now has a growing Taiwanese menu. How Lee, a Sichuan restaurant, is across the street, with Sichuan Gourmet and Chengdu Gourmet both a short distance away. Down the block, another establishment, Northeastern Kitchen, this one specializing in northeastern Chinese cuisine, opened in May. “Everybody is different, and so we all survive. We even help to bring people in,” he says.

That’s not to say that Chen and his colleagues don’t have work to do to get more Americans to take a seat at the table. “Some food still won’t sell to the majority of Americans. And Pittsburgh is behind cities like New York and Philadelphia. ‘Can I eat that?!’ they say,” Chen says.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Twice's "Likey" at this week's K-pop Class, June 23.

The weekly K-pop Class at Yanlai Dance Academy will do Twice's "Likey" on June 23rd. The class is held each Saturday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm, and the cost is $18 for a drop-in session. Yanlai Dance Academy is located at 2260 Babcock Blvd. in the North Hills (map).