Pop Culture

An ‘instrument’ with soul: Joyo Velarde to perform at ‘Sansei Live’

Since its inception in 1971, Kimochi Inc. has maintained its commitment to serving the Japanese American community’s seniors. In the spirit of community, the San Francisco Japantown-based nonprofit will hold “Sansei Live!” — its annual fundraiser — on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Carnelian By The Bay, 1 Ferry Plaza, in San Francisco. The Nichi Bei […]

“Miwa: A Japanese Icon” Tonight at the Castro

In Japan, Miwa Akihiro is a household name. The 76-year-old, openly gay, bleached blonde, drag queen, actor/author/singer is a regular face on Japanese television, known for making outrageous, cutting and (sometimes) insightful comments on news and culture. In the U.S., he is known mostly known for his film roles—playing the femme fatale in Kinji Fukusaku’s […]

Hatsune Miku drives a Corolla

There’s something magical about American marketing strategies. It might have something to do with its strong culture that emphasizes might (wealth) makes right, and a general lack of doujinshi culture, but when you see something that’s typically driven by fans for fans in Japan, you can bet it’ll never grow to see the light of […]

Joi Ito Named new Director of MIT Media Lab

Pal of Ryuichi Sakamoto and all-around cool dude Joi Ito was recently named the new director of the MIT Media Lab! From the NY Times article (which I found on Boing Boing): Mr. Ito… is neither a conventional Japanese technologist, nor your average college dropout. Raised in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Mr. Ito was […]

Limbaugh Amused that Earthquake Hit Birthplace of Prius

Apparently, Rush’s understanding of the concept of environmentalism is that you make Mother Earth offerings of Priuses and recycled plastic in hopes she won’t smite you. Media Matters has a transcript and a quick list of some of his other absurd, unfeeling statements.

My Little Love of Ponies

I was born in the ’80s. I was brought up by the miracle of ’90s era-parenting: television. I was a fan of “Cow and Chicken“ and “The Rugrats;” I wanted to be a part of the “Round House“ and “All That“ casts; and, damn it, I really hated Barney, Barbies and My Little Pony because […]

For Some, Ignorance > Compassion

Some of this stuff is tough to stomach, especially when taken in rapid-fire, so please don’t read if you don’t want to be deeply offended.  While most people have expressed compassion toward the victims of the tsunami and earthquake, there are some who thought it would make great material for jokes. For instance Gilbert Gottfried. […]

Message from George Takei on Tsunami/Earthquake

George Takei posted the following on his Website last Friday: “I extend to the people of Japan and especially to those of the Tohoku region my heartfelt sympathy and condolences in the aftermath of the devastation from the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. The pictures we see on our television news reports are unbelievable — […]

Kanye Video a Homage to ‘Enter the Void’?

Epileptics beware. So Kanye West’s video for “All of the Lights” has more than a passing resemblance to the opening credits of Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void,” which was filmed in Japan with several Japanese people in the crew. Check them out for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAfFfqiYLp0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL0lNGXoP8E& Also, check out an earlier Kanye video that is […]

A look at “Made In China”

There’s a sort of derogatory attitude taken by people in the US and Japan over China. The nation, not to make light of their questionable ethics, is beleaguered with bad press. In Japan’s case, it’s the recent debacle over the fishing boat collision last year, as well as mounting concerns over China’s haughtiness since being […]

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