Arts & Entertainment

Japanese joy

Japanese joy. When offered these words separately, Japanese and Japanese Americans understand them, but presented together — as they were at the recent virtual event entitled “The Story Circle of the Japanese Diaspora” — the concept generates a question in the minds of many Nikkei: “What is that?” “I thought it was strange to hear […]

Exhibit of Nisei fiber artist Sekimachi’s work weaves inner life and character

BERKELEY, Calif. — Internationally acclaimed master weaver and fiber artist Kay Sekimachi loves playing with opposing forces: the soft and the rigid, inside and out. The 94-year-old Nisei is the subject of an exhibition entitled “Kay Sekimachi: Geometries,” currently at the Berkeley Art Museum. “Geometries” includes more than 50 objects that were created on the […]

Jeff Adachi’s last film, ‘Ricochet,’ to premiere at CAAMFEST 2021

The tragic 2015 death of Kate Steinle as she walked with her father on San Francisco’s Pier 14 became national news when it was revealed that the accused shooter was an undocumented immigrant, and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump exploited the case to rail against undocumented immigration and sanctuary cities. If you believed Trump and the […]

Manzanar’s ‘unexpected’ land defenders

Like many Sansei, Ann Kaneko grew up hearing about “camp” from her parents’ dinnertime conversations, but it wasn’t until she was asked to talk about her family’s World War II incarceration in the fourth grade that she realized that what they had experienced was far from a “fun camp where they had been for a […]

Jhené Aiko, Saweetie to perform on AAPI advocacy TV special

NEW YORK  — Platinum-selling performers of part-Asian descent, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper Saweetie, will perform on a TV special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy. TAAF announced May 6 that English icon Sting will also perform at “See Us Unite for Change – […]

Documentaries take on Pat Morita and the samurai

Two recent documentaries available over streaming services capture very opposite ends of the spectrum of Japanese and Japanese American culture. The first is “More than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story,” which expands the limited image most people have of the actor. Mention Pat Morita, and almost everyone will say “Mr. Miyagi,” or perhaps, the iconic […]

Animation legend Willie Ito receives industry’s lifetime achievement award

In 1939, 5-year-old Willie Ito sat in a movie theater absolutely mesmerized by Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” He knew right then and there that animation was the life for him. So he started drawing cartoons, and when he wasn’t drawing he dreamed of drawing even as he delivered the Nichi Bei […]

Chloé Zhao makes history with best director Oscar win

LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao has made history April 25 at the 2021 Academy Awards, becoming the first woman of color to win best director and just the second woman to win the award. Zhao won the directing Oscar for “Nomadland,” joining Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker.” “I’m extremely lucky […]

TV’s ‘New Amsterdam’ tackles Asian hate

Over the past year and especially during the last couple of months, videos on various social media platforms have showed Asian people being brutally attacked on a daily basis. Incidents like this have become all too familiar: “When COVID was at its worst, a man stopped me in the street, he grabbed my arm, and […]

A new ‘Kung Fu’ debuts at a crucial time for Asian Americans

NEW YORK — Up-and-coming actors will sometimes claim to know a variety of skills to be considered for roles, but Olivia Liang set a boundary early in her career. “When I started off in the industry, people would ask me why martial arts wasn’t on my resume because it was such a typecast for Asians […]

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