Analyzation and critique of a cute global character

Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific By Christine R. Yano (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2013, 336 pp., $24.95, paperback, $89.95 cloth) For ardent fans or the casual Hello Kitty consumer, Christine Yano’s book, “Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific” has a little something for everyone. The book focuses on Hello […]

Hello Kitty celebrates 40 years with LA exhibition

LOS ANGELES — At just five apples high with her telltale red bow propped on the left side of her head, she’s an icon of global pop culture featured on everything from Band-Aids, T-shirts and backpacks to airplanes, curling irons and a dress donned by Lady Gaga. She also turned 40 this year, and this […]

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 […]

‘I Am Bruce Lee’ to open in limited theaters in February

As a cultural icon for Asian American and mainstream audiences alike, Bruce Lee is considered an inspirational figure. The upcoming release of “I Am Bruce Lee,” which Canadian filmmaker Pete McCormack directed, explores Lee’s life through archival footage and interviews with people who were close to him. Lee, whose thinking was both revolutionary and controversial, […]

Punk glam rock fashion with all the thrills

Following a successful prelude of fashion shows and a temporary pop-up store during the J-Pop Summit Festival 2011, which was held in August, the h.Naoto store opened at the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown on Oct. 7. Naoto Hirooka, better known as h.Naoto, attended the grand opening of his boutique, his first store […]

Mass mascot mania

FUZZ & FUR: JAPAN’S COSTUMED CHARACTERS By Edward and John Harrison (New York: Mark Batty Publisher, 2011, 144 pp., $16.95, hardcover) Edward and John Harrison put together a collection of photos to introduce to Americans the phenomenon of anthropomorphized mascots that represent Japanese prefectures, towns, districts and businesses. Inside their collection are lovable plush mascots […]

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 […]

I feel slightly nausiated by this…

Hey guys, it’s time to relax, it’s the weekend and… What is this? Where did this guy come from? I really want to watch this show, just to be allowed to yell profanities at it, but alas, the UK doesn’t let me watch it legally. But seriously, when you name your documentary off of a […]

Perspectives of/on Japan

So I realize I’ve been posting for about a month now, but my first entry was considerably delayed. What with Ishihara proposing that troublesome law and such, I had to deal with more pressing matters. So on with my planned introduction: Japan is a nation far away yet close to my heart, sometimes too close.  […]

Fall of Japan? A look at 2010 and what it might spell for J-Pop around the world

So it’s another year, and while real life doesn’t actually revolve around the increment of 365 ¼ days, it’s good to know that we like to box everything into little categories. Ronald Kelts, author of Japanamerica, wrote last January that Japan may have jumped the shark: 2009 wasn’t such a hot year for them either, […]