Arts & Entertainment

‘9500 Liberty’ Marks a New Direction for Eric Byler

The new documentary “9500 Liberty,” directed and produced by Annabel Park, a celebrated playwright and grassroots organizer, and Eric Byler, director of indie hits, including “Charlotte Sometimes” and “Americanese,” is a departure from the filmmaker’s previous works. Throughout his career, Byler created narrative works that dealt with race and human relationships in subtle and complex […]

Once the center of international outcry, Japanese American author speaks out

Roxana Saberi, as with other political prisoners, suffers from “emotional scars” that “will take a long time to heal. Some will never heal,” she told the Nichi Bei Weekly in a phone interview. However, she said that writing about and discussing her experience have helped. Saberi’s book, “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in […]

OBITUARY: Kinji Shibuya

SLAM! Wrestling Kinji Shibuya, who died May 3 at the age of 88, once described his move from wrestling to acting in realistic terms that also applied to his 25 years of villainy in the ring: “You’re an ugly bugger and they wanted an Oriental villain or something like that. I was ready to oblige.” […]

‘The Harimaya Bridge’ Tells a Universal Story Characters Come From Different Countries, Races, Generations

In a new movie, “The Harimaya Bridge,” premiering in San Francisco on April 23, an American journeys to Japan, a country he has long resented, to collect some items that belonged to his estranged son, who died there two years prior. Confronting painful memories and long-held stereotypes — his own and those others hold against […]

Multiracial Enka Singer Jero ‘Helps Connect Cultures’

“I’m at a loss for words, it’s really humbling to be here,” Pittsburgh-native and enka sensation Jero told the audience at his sold-out March 28 show at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco. “I never imagined being able to perform like this in a foreign country.” The 28-year-old mixed-race Nikkei paused and […]

Identity & Art San Francisco-Based Artist Finds Direction After Connecting with His Japanese Heritage

Akira Beard, a 34-year-old San Francisco-based artist, is currently showing 18 works in “New Territory,” an exhibit at White Walls gallery in the city’s Tenderloin District. Beard, who lives nearby the gallery, is a painter and instructor whose works aim to spur dialog on social issues. Using portraits of celebrities and historical figures, the paintings […]

Enka Singer Jero Embraces Cultural Heritage, Embarks On U.S. Tour

Enka is often described as the most traditional of all popular music in Japan, usually considered distinct from the very broad J-pop category that includes “non-Japanese” musical genres such as rock, dance and hip-hop. When enka singers visit the U.S., they often draw intimate crowds of older Nisei and Shin-Issei. However, when current enka sensation […]

A Hip-Hop Element: Dan the Automator Launches Audio Alchemy Deejay Series at Yoshi’s San Francisco

Dan Nakamura — better known in the music industry as Dan the Automator — has enjoyed phenomenal success as a producer in hip-hop and beyond, putting together such notable albums as the eponymous debut for Gorillaz, a pair of Handsome Boy Modeling School collaborations with Prince Paul, and the high-concept “Deltron 3030” record. He’s also […]


While there was nothing approaching last year’s “Slumdog” mania, the 2010 Academy Awards did have some wins of interest for APIs. The award for best-animated picture went to the CGI animated feature “Up,” starring Jordan Nagai. Since its release in the summer of ’09, the Pixar film has been a shoe-in for the award, so […]

What to Watch at the SF International Asian American Film Festival

There is quite a lineup at this year’s San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Nichi Bei Weekly has been busy watching films to bring you an overview of the diverse works showcased this year. “Today’s Special” kicks off the festival on March 11 at Castro Theatre. Aasif Mandiv (“The Daily Show”) plays […]