Arts & Entertainment

An Unharmonious History Revisited

CAMP HARMONY: SEATTLE’S JAPANESE AMERICANS AND THE PUYALLUP ASSEMBLY CENTER By Louis Fiset (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2009, 232 pp., $25, paperback) Many readers are probably familiar with Louis Fiset’s previous works, especially “Imprisoned Apart.” He has produced another important work on a subject long ignored perhaps because of the temporary nature of the […]

Documented: From Exile to Release from Concentration Camps

MOVING IMAGES: Photography and the Japanese American Incarceration By Jasmine Alinder (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2009, 232 pp., $40.00, paperback) With the advent of digital, cell, and even laptop cameras, we snap endless images knowing that we can just transport them to a worldwide audience or merely delete them into cyberspace without a second […]

An Angry Asian Man Brings the Community Together

Representation in the media has long been an issue for Asian Americans. Growing up, many would pay special attention to the TV any time an Asian Pacific Islander (API) guest star was on a sitcom or an episode was set in Chinatown. Such finds were usually quite random, but today, thanks to social and technological developments, one can find notice of upcoming appearances by APIs in the media, clips of the show itself, and analysis of its racial content on the Internet. And, for many, the blog Angry Asian Man, run by Philip Yu, has become the one stop shop for all those things listed above and more.

‘One Piece’ Manga Enjoys Unprecedented Popularity

TOKYO — The popularity of a manga comic titled “One Piece” remains unceasing with the circulation of the latest 56th volume put on sale this month totaling 2.85 million copies, marking the highest number for a first printing in the history of comic publications. The figure brought the total circulation of “One Piece” (featuring a […]

Grammy Jazz Ensembles Hits Right Note with Student Musician

Trombone player Jon Hatamiya is only in high school, but he’s about to have the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with notable Grammy Award-winning artists. Hatamiya, 17, was one of 28 students from around the country selected from a field of 75 entrants to participate in the 2010 Grammy Jazz Ensembles program. He will be […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK: People of Color Dancing at the Box Office This Winter

This holiday season’s top box office earners include a surprisingly large number of films about people of color. The controversial “Precious,” a gritty story about an obese, pregnant black teen, cracked the top 10 and “The Blind Side,” an “inspirational” story about a rich white lady who takes in a troubled, black teen, and turns […]

‘Ukulele Strikes a Chord with San Jose Japantown Music Instructor

Originally trained as a computer hardware programmer, Rodney Takahashi has turned his passion for the ‘ukulele into a successful career as a music instructor. Takahashi teaches lessons at his store, Ukulele Jams, at 565 North Sixth Street in San Jose’s Japantown. The classes cover ‘ukulele picking, strumming and music theory. Takahashi, who originally operated his […]

‘Astro Boy’ Falls Short of Tezuka’s Trademark Storytelling Style

This past month, Astro Boy, one of Japan’s greatest icons, made his debut in U.S. movie theaters. The new film,  appropriately titled “Astro Boy,” is directed by British animator David Bowers (“Flushed Away”) and produced by Hong Kong’s Imagi Studios’ (the CGI-animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) — with some oversight by Tezuka Productions, the company […]

‘The Cove’ Puts Health Risk at Forefront, But Japanese Side Not Convinced

TOKYO — A U.S. documentary film about dolphin hunting in Japan places its focus on the health risks that could arise from eating mercury-laden dolphin meat, relegating to the sidelines the aspect of animal rights protection and brushing aside claims of traditional customs. But Japanese authorities and scientists are not convinced by the warning message […]

Uncovering Tokyo’s Yakuza and Nightlife

For 12 years, Jake Adelstein was embroiled in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo crime and nightlife, spending late nights schmoozing with police, conducting investigations at brothels and fielding death threats from the Japanese mafia. Adelstein himself, however, was not in law enforcement or a criminal. Rather, from 1993 to 2005, Adelstein worked as a crime […]

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