About Ben Hamamoto

Ben Hamamoto is a writer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He's been published in the Oakland Tribune and has written for New American Media's YO! Youth Outlook and the Nichi Bei Times. He is a research manager for the Health Horizons Program at the Institute for the Future. He also edits Nikkei Heritage, the National Japanese American Historical Society's official magazine and contributes to Nichi Bei Weekly.

Reason J-TV Networks Should Really Get Their Act Together 001: Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Atonement”

There’s a lot of quality TV in Japan that never makes it (legally) to American home media. From what I’ve heard, there are U.S. distributors interested in acquiring some of them, but the TV networks in Japan are asking too much for their shows. That’s too bad, because there are plenty of fans that are […]

Hulk Smash Poverty? Controversy Around Depiction of Kolkata Slum in ‘The Avengers’

So “The Avengers” came out last weekend and it was a pretty stunning success by most definitions: Joss Whedon made a coherent film about a scientist who turns into a big green monster, a World War II super-soldier, a Russian femme-fatale spy, a robot man, and a Norse god teaming up to save the world […]

Film Review: The Day He Arrives

http://www.youtube.com/watch’v=_nuet1q58z8 The trailer is in color, for some reason, while the film itself is in black-and-white. I sorta disagree with the written character descriptions contained within it, but the trailer does a pretty good job of conveying what the film is all about.  A lot of people have remarked on how Hong Sangsoo’s stories are all […]

San Francisco International Film Festival: API Film Mini-Reviews

While the San Francisco International Film Festival has come and gone, here’s my take on a few films that caught my eye, and ones I hope will continue to make their rounds at upcoming festivals. The Sheik and I While a little slow to take off, Bay Area auteur Caveh Zahedi’s  new documentary is a […]

‘Kids on the Slope,’ New Series by Director of ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ Now Streaming Online (legally)

The highly anticipated “Kids on the Slope,” the new anime series by Shinichiro Watanabe, is now available online through Crunchyroll. I caught the first episode last night, and I highly recommend it for just about all audiences, whether they’re into animation or not. The show takes place in 1966 in rural Kyushu and centers on […]

Battle Royale Adapted for Live Theater in the Philippines

http://www.youtube.com/watch’feature=player_embedded&v=dtfYaOEXNlA Now no matter what they do with the American remake, we’ll always at least have this. I seriously have to remember to check Twitch much, much more often. From their site: “Filipino theater troupe Sipat Lawin Ensemble have teamed up with Australian playwrights David Finnigan, Jordan Prosser, Sam Burns-Warr, and Georgie McAuley to create […]

Aziz Ansari Tour Dates Announced

Tickets for Ansari’s “Buried Alive” standup tour can be purchased here.

The Best Films of 2011: An Alternate to the Oscars

Every year, to coincide with the Academy Awards, I try to roughly rank all the films I saw in the previous year. I do this, instead of picking out a top five or 10, because I think those lists are inherently flawed — I think it’s important for the reader to know that I didn’t […]

Lou Dobbs vs. Miyazaki

So the time comes again when I have to (half) defend Fox News. The network has a surprisingly lengthy recent history of taking issue with the subtext of children’s entertainment. Lou Dobbs similarly criticizes “The Secret World of Arrietty,” the new to the U.S. Miyazaki-scripted Ghibli film, which I’m reviewing in the next issue of Nichi Bei […]

Is the Non-existent Lin/Kardashian Date a Problem?

So Asian America collectively shuddered the other day at rumors that Jeremy Lin and Kim Kardashian might go on a date. (Interestingly, if you Google “jeremy lin,” “jeremy lin kim kardashian” comes up as the first autocomplete result.)  I guess it’s since been debunked, but I feel like I’m a little alone in thinking that […]