Friday, March 27, 2015

Sichuan University - Pittsburgh apartments Institute

Sichuan University - Pittsburgh Institute is scheduled to open in Fall 2015. The institute at the Chinese univesity's Jiang'an campus "will educate undergraduate students and foster collaborative research" and will start with an incoming cohort of 100 students. The first pictures of the proposed building were released last July. Unfortunately, an image also used to promote the campus is a rendering from a Chinese real estate website of an apartment complex under construction in Sichuan.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter at Hollywood Theater, April 3 - 9.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2014 film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter from April 3 through 9. A summary from the Sundance Festival homepage:
Kumiko lives in a cluttered, cramped apartment in Tokyo with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. She works as an office lady, robotically preparing tea and fetching dry cleaning for her nitpicky boss. But on her own time, she obsessively watches a well-known American film on a weathered VHS tape. Rewinding and fast-forwarding repeatedly, she meticulously maps out where a briefcase of castaway loot is buried within the fictional film. After hours of intense research—convinced that her destiny depends on finding the money—Kumiko heads to the United States and into the harsh Minnesota winter to search for it.
The American film stars several Japanese actors, including Rinko Kikuchi, and will debut in US theaters in March 2015. Showtimes and tickets are available on the Hollywood Theater's homepage. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shaler Area High School Kakehashi Community Event, March 25.

From the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania monthly newsletter:
This year the Kakehashi (Bridge for Tomorrow) Project brings together not only Japanese and American college students, but high school students as well. As part of an initiative by the Japanese government to promote youth exchange between the U.S. and Japan, Shaler Area High School will be hosting a group of students from Igusa and Suginami Sogo High Schools of Tokyo, Japan.

Shaler Area High School will be hosting a Kakehashi Community Event on Wednesday, March 25th at Shaler Area High School Auditorium from 6:00 - 8:30 pm. This is a rare opportunity to interact with high school students from Japan and help promote the grassroots of internationalization. The program will open with a performance by Pittsburgh Taiko followed by student presentations and a reception with light refreshments where you can meet with the students.

This event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are appreciated. Please contact Steven Balsomico [Balsomicos at] for further information or to RSVP.
The high school is located at 381 Wible Run Rd. (map).

TOP Shabu Shabu soft opens today, March 24.

TOP Shabu Shabu has announced that it will have a soft opening today, March 24, with 20% off everything It's located at 114 Atwood St. (map) in Oakland, the former location of Pizza Sola.

The Pitt News, the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh, ran a profile on the restaurant in January:
Andrew Khoo, the restaurant’s manager, said although they named the new restaurant after Shabu-shabu, a Japanese style of dining, yet Top Shabu’s hot pot style is traditionally more Chinese.

Customers will order a “hot pot” and whatever meats and vegetables they would like to eat, which servers will bring to the table. Customers will then cook the food using the hot pot, a metal container filled with broth and heated by an electric coil, and eat their food at their table. In hot pots, the food is cooked while the pot simmers. Thinly sliced beef is the traditional choice, Khoo said, but Top Shabu will offer a variety of meat and vegetable options.

“All food is cooked at the table,” Khoo said.

According to Khoo, Top Shabu’s bar will offer Asian-inspired drinks.

“We have a 10 tap system from the previous owner,” Khoo said. “We’ll also have a variety of wine and a large variety of liquor for unique mixed drinks. The mixed drinks will have an Asian influence. For example, melon liqueur is used a lot in China.”

Monday, March 23, 2015

Korean film The Attorney (변호인) at Pitt, March 25.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures will show the Korean film The Attorney (변호인) on March 25 as the second and final installment in this year's Korean Film Festival. The Washington Post summarizes the 2013 movie starring Song Kang-ho (JSA, The Host, Secret Sunshine):
The recent South Korean box-office hit observes the progress, beginning in 1978, of a lawyer with few credentials but much ambition. Song Woo-seok (Song Kang-ho) is snubbed by other lawyers because he passed the bar exam without attending law school, or even college. These cohorts are further scandalized when Song begins registering real-estate transactions, a task previously restricted to notaries.

His most inexcusable offense? Song makes a lot of money while doing work other attorneys thought was beneath them.
. . .
Fictionalized from actual events, “The Attorney” shows the transformation of a character based on the late Roh Moo-hyun, who became a human-rights advocate and later South Korea’s president.
The movie runs from 4:00 to 7:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map) and is free and open to the public. The movie will also play for free on April 8 at Northland Public Library in the North Hills.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chinese documentary I Am Here (我就是我) at CMU, March 27.

The 2014 Chinese documentary I Am Here (我就是我) will run on March 27 as part of Carnegie Mellon University's International Film Festival. The festival summarizes:
Do you have what it takes to be famous? Reality television and talent competitions have captivated the star-maker medium, as well as the hearts of viewers around the globe. Super Boy, one of China's most popular and adored reality television shows, recruits hundreds of thousands young, Chinese male performers and audiences to watch one boy's rise to the top of this singing competition reality program. Lixin's film I Am Here delves into contemporary Chinese youth culture, allowing us to witness the personalities, the families, the regime of image building, and the arduous training behind the passion we see on stage. Do you have what it takes to be famous-- or what it takes to become famous?
And some comments from Darren Hughes, who attended the Toronto International Film Festival last December:
“WTF is this movie?!”

I scribbled this note midway through I Am Here, Fan Lixin’s trainwreck of a documentary about Super Boy, an American Idol-style talent show that is a ratings sensation in China. I walked out of three feature films at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, each of which was more competently made than I Am Here, but none was as fascinating. Assembled from one-on-one interviews with the contestants, backstage observations, broadcast footage, and fabricated adventures (the film begins and ends with three of the boys walking through the desert, for some reason), I Am Here was surely edited by a committee whose sole concern was protecting and selling the brand. Each sequence feels focus group tested, as if the entire film were compiled algorithmically based on Youku analytics data. Say what you will about shows like Super Boy, but after two decades, its approach to storytelling and montage has become so refined it’s nothing for the editors at Big Brother and Survivor to introduce and individuate ten characters before the first commercial break. After 88 minutes of I Am Here I knew only Ou Hao (the guy with the circle earrings) and Hua Chenyu (the one with the lenseless black frames). In other words, I Am Here isn’t even good reality TV.
The event starts at 7:15 pm in McConomy Auditorium in the Jared L. Cohon University Center and includes a "mock singing competition" and reception. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $10 for everyone else, and available online.

Tomodachi Festival at Carnegie Library in Oakland, April 18.

Advance notice for the 4th annual Tomodachi Festival at Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library.
Join us for music, dance, kimono try-ons, haiku, origami art, and more! Cookies will be served. This program is presented by our friends from the Japan-America Society and the Friends of Main Library Bridge to Japan.
It will run from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 18. The library is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. (map).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"International Health in East Asia" at Pitt, March 20.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will present Michael SY Liu and his colloquium "International Health in East Asia" on March 20.
East Asia is an important historical case for international health between the 1920s and the 1960s. Prior to WWII, various organizations like The Far Eastern Association of Tropical Medicine (FEATM, 1910-1938), The League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO, 1921/24-39), and International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation (1913-51) all tried to dominate the arena. The competition ended in the second-half of the 1940s when new forms of medical aid appeared and the World Health Organization (WHO) was created in 1948. The expansion of state-governed international institutions alongside America’s emergence as a global superpower transformed the state-foundation relationship in profound ways. Professor Liu’s research attempts to demonstrate the changing infrastructures of international health in East Asia during this period, and reveals the possible linkage of U.S. medical aid in post-war East Asia and former activities of colonial medicine in the region. He hopes to provoke a discussion about the nature of American medicine in Cold War East Asia, what constitutes an international relationship in medicine, and whether to consider transnational medical projects in the post-WWII period as a Cold War version of colonial medicine.
The talk begins at 4:00 pm in 4217 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Night Market 2015 at Pitt, March 20.

The Chinese American Student Association [CASA] at the University of Pittsburgh will host its annual Night Market on Friday, March 20. From the event's Facebook page:
Join us for an awesome night filled with fun games, activities/crafts, prizes and FREE food!! Come out to the William Pitt Union Assembly Room as quickly as you can this Friday night- you do not want to miss out on the FREE Chinese food and FREE bubble tea! First come, first serve!!! Doors open at 9pm!! Can't wait to see you all! :D
It runs from 9:00 pm to midnight in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room (map).

Hotteok (호떡) sale at CMU, March 19.

via Happy Today.

The Carnegie Mellon University Asian Students Association will hold its second Hotteok Sale of the term on Thursday, March 19. Hotteok (호떡) is a fried Korean dessert with a sweet filling, commonly sold by street food vendors for 30 to 50 cents a piece. The sale runs from 11:30 to 3:00 pm---or until they run out; February's sold out in 90 minutes---at University Center Black Chairs.