Monday, May 4, 2015

Kang hits first home run of Major League career.

On Sunday, May 3, Jung-ho Kang hit the first home run of his Major League Baseball career in the 9th inning against the Cardinals' Trevor Rosenthal. Kang is the first Korean position player in Pittsburgh Pirates history.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Opening Reception for Wuhan University Photography Exhibition at Pitt, May 7.

The University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center presents the opening ceremony for a Wuhan Photograph Exhibition on Thursday, May 7. From the ASC event listing:
The opening of an exhibition devoted to the longstanding collaboration and goodwill between the University of Pittsburgh and Wuhan University. Remarks will be given by Professor Han Jin, Chair of the University Council, Wuhan University; and Albert J. Novak, Jr., Vice Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh. Please RSVP to Lynn Kawaratani at
The Chinese city of Wuhan is a Sister City of Pittsburgh. The ceremony runs from 9 to 10 am on the 7th floor of Alumni Hall (map) and, as the poster says, RSVP is required by May 4.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shadyside Hospital's Japanese garden in spring.

A few photos of the Japanese garden at Shadyside Hospital, taken April 29. Unfortunately, I seem to have missed most of the sakura by a few days.

Reads a plaque at the entrance:
This garden is a gift from Dr. Kazuo Kodera in honor of nurses. It is a place for health care providers to think about our friends around the world and to reflect on the meaning of our work, which i to care for one another. It is a place to find new friendships, to find new hope, and to find peace.

We hope you enjoy your time here.

September 2005
A September 2008 Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania newsletter tells more:
Outside the main entrance of Shadyside Hospital, a quiet and unassuming oasis lies. The serene Japanese garden was made in honor of nurses. The trees are a gift from Dr. Kazou Kodera, Japanese director of the English Society Institute in Tokyo.
A plaque closer to the entrance, at a smaller garden, tells visitors that the garden is dedicated to the Matsudaira's first son, Shinya, who died in 1995.

Here are a few photos from a visit in March 2014.

Hong Kong film Chungking Express (重慶森林) at Maridon Museum, May 9.

The Maridon Museum will show the 1994 Wong Kar-wai movie Chungking Express (重慶森林) on May 9 as part of its Hong Kong Film Series. A 1996 Roger Ebert review provides a summary:
If you are attentive to the style, if you think about what Wong is doing, "Chungking Express” works. If you're trying to follow the plot, you may feel frustrated. As the film opens, we meet a policeman named He Qiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who wanders the nighttime city, lonely and depressed, pining after a girl who has left him. He gives himself 30 days to find another girl, and uses the expiration dates on cans of pineapple as a way of doing a countdown. A new woman walks into his life: the woman in the wig (Brigitte Chin-Hsia Lin), who is involved in drug deals.

We expect their relationship to develop in conventional crime movie ways, but instead, the film switches stories, introducing a new couple. The first cop hangs out at a fast-food bar, where he notices an attractive waitress (Faye Wang), but she has eyes only for another cop who frequents the same restaurant (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung). He scarcely notices her, but she gets the keys to his apartment, and moves in when he isn't there -- cleaning, redecorating, even changing the labels on his canned food.
The movie starts at 1:00 pm. The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Found it!: Pittsburgh's Asia Way.

The intersection of Asia Way and Cypress St. in Bloomfield (map). "Asia Alley" can be seen on maps dating back to at least 1899.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Korean Heritage Room in Cathedral of Learning slated for November 15 dedication.

Korean Heritage Room Pitt
One design by Arumjigi (아름지기)

The Korean Heritage Room in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning has been in development for nearly a decade. In 2007, then-Chancellor Nordenberg allotted room 304 to the Korean Heritage Room Committee, and subsequent news articles always put its open a few years away. In the Spring 2015 Nationality Rooms Newsletter, released today, we learn that the dedication ceremony will be held on November 15. In the Message from the Director, on page 3, Director E. Maxine Bruhns writes:
The Korean Heritage Room’s walls, ceiling and floor arrived in a seaborne container on a truck March 27. Construction will begin in May when six Korean carpenters and three supervisors will construct the Room based on a 14th Century academic structure in Seoul.
Details continue to be sparse, though a pamphlet circulated at the 2012 Korean Food Bazaar talks about the proposed layout:
The design of the KHR is faithfully based on our historic academic institution, Sungkuenkwan. The room wil be equipped with a state-of-the-art audiovisual system including an interactive touch screen LCD monitor. Thus through this endeavor, we will have an opportunity to showcase our splendid 5000-year history and cultural image, as well as the intellectual and economic prosperity of South Korea.
And the Korean Heritage Room Committee website wrote, in 2012, on the design and planning:
In July 2009, the team including two candidate architects visited Pitt and met with the University architect for briefing of requirements related to the project. Ms. Minah Lee of Coparch Studio in Seoul was eventually selected as the primary architect. She, together with Mr. Young Suk Jang of Arumjigi Culture Keepers and Professor Bong Ryol Kim of Korea National University of Arts, returned in February 2012 and presented a detailed design of the KHR to the Pitt contingency and the U.S. architects including Mr. Park Rankin of the University and Mr. Kenneth Lee of McLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni. The overall design concept of the KHR room was well-received, and only a few minor details are yet to be determined.
This duality is a common theme in Korean national brand marketing, and this room will reflect both a traditional image of Korea (at least a traditional image of old Korean universities) and a modern one, given that South Korea is an industry-leader in electronics (like the touchscreen monitors made by Samsung and LG, for instance).

In addition to the rendering by Arumjigi atop the post, a few other concept drawings have appeared online. Details are a bit inconsistent, owing to the duration of the project, the number of consultants involved, and the lack of updates by the KHRC and the designers.

A pamphlet from 2009 by 내촌목공소 (.pdf) has more details about dimensions and building materials of the design by architect Minah Lee:

via 내촌목공소 (Naechon Carpenter's Workshop).

The Cathedral of Learning has dozens of Nationality and Heritage Rooms on its first and third floors which
represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments.

2015 Donnie Yen movie Kung Fu Killer (一個人的武林) at Hollywood Theater, May 1 through May 4.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show 2015's Kung Fu Killer (一個人的武林) from May 1 through May 4. Wikipedia provides a summary of the movie, which is now commonly known as Kung Fu Jungle in English:
Hahou Mo, a martial arts expert and police self-defense instructor (Donnie Yen) is incarcerated for involuntary manslaughter during a fight with an opponent. Three years later, a vicious killer (Wang Baoqiang) emerges and starts killing retired martial arts masters that Hahou knows. With his own personal agenda, Hahou reveals he knows the killer's next intended victims and offers to aid Inspector Luk Yuen-Sum (Charlie Young) in capturing the killer with his martial arts skills and knowledge in exchange for his freedom.
Tickets are available online via the theater's calendar. 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.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Asian American Women's Symposium: Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenge and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face" at Chatham University, May 2.

Chatham University will host "Asian American Women's Symposium: Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenge and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face" on Saturday, May 2. The press release, from Chatham:
The Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) Pittsburgh is partnering with the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE) Pittsburgh, and the Business Department at Chatham University to host the upcoming Women Entrepreneurs Symposium on Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mellon Board Room of Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus. Registration (which includes lunch) is $30; $20 for CWE/AACCP/TiE Members; and $10 for students.

Facilitated by Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, the panel discussion, entitled ‘Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenges and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face’, will feature a group of successful Asian female entrepreneurs from the Pittsburgh area. Panelists include Dr. Priya Narasimhan, CMU Professor and Founder of YinzCam, Inc, Cassandra Pan, President of Fenner Dunlop Americas, and Nicki Zevola, Founder of FutureDerm. Debra Lam, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer in the Office of Mayor Peduto, will unveil the city’s “Innovation Roadmap” as the keynote speaker.

Pittsburgh Business Times on new Sushi Fuku location(s).

On Friday, the Pittsburgh Business Times wrote on the Sushi Fuku restaurant under construction on Craig St., its owner, and its future plans:
Building on his experience of running the sushi bar franchise for Giant Eagle supermarkets, [owner Ting] Yen has been devising a system for Sushi Fuku for six years, seeing opportunity in new automated machinery for preparing seaweed and rice that is being used in Japan and Manhattan.

It’s a combination of assembly line processing paired with the traditional knife and hand-rolling skills of sushi making that's enabled Sushi Fuku to dramatically cut down on the preparation time. Yen said the added automation is the only way to to serve very high-quality sushi at an affordable price in a restaurant that also allows diners to completely customize their orders.

The success of the first Sushi Fuku has given Yen confidence to pursue expansion.

“We serve between 300 to 500 customers a day,” he said. “We’re always packed.”
The first Sushi Fuku opened on Oakland Ave. in 2012. Signage has been up on the Craig St. facade for a while, but the L.A. Galbi hoax last fall has led us to wait for more confirmation before posting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jung-ho Kang on Instagram.

The Korean media is watching Jung-ho Kang's Instagram, too.

Via 스포츠투데이.

"눈오는날 야구를하다니. .처음이다 ㅋ" Kang wrote on the 23rd. Roughly: "Playing baseball in the snow . . That's a first ha". His handle is sdew0405.