Friday, January 23, 2015

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) at Regent Square Theater, tomorrow through January 29.



The Regent Square Theater will present The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) from January 24 through 29. The highly-acclaimed 2013 Studio Ghibli film made its Pittsburgh debut at the Row House Cinema in December, and was announced as an Oscar nominee last week for Best Animated Feature. An A.V. Club review provides a summary:
A humble bamboo cutter named Okina (translation: “old man”) happens upon a glowing stalk in the grove near his house. When he investigates, the shimmering tree blossoms reveal a baby nested inside. Believing this discovery to be a gift from the heavens, Okina brings her home to his wife Ouna (“old woman”), with whom he begins to raise the child as their own. Dubbing her “Princess” Kaguya, Ouna and Okina marvel at how rapidly the girl begins to grow, racing from infancy to pre-adolescence in a matter of days.

While Kaguya busies herself with a normal childhood, making friends with the local kids and bonding with an older boy named Sutemaru, her adopted father becomes distracted by Kaguya’s value to him—the bamboo shoot from which she was born begins producing gold. As Kaguya transforms into a teenager, Okina relocates their family to the capital city, where the girl receives lessons on how to be a proper woman, and is celebrated as a rare beauty. When five aggressive suitors come calling—followed by the emperor himself—Kaguya begins to feel trapped, things falling apart as she imagines a different life for herself.
It goes on to say the film has "some of the most beautifully expressive animation that Ghibli (or anyone else) has ever produced".
Showtimes are available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website. The website says tomorrow's and Sunday's screenings will be dubbed in English, while the other shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Regent Square Theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pitt News previews "Top Shabu Shabu".


First look at Top Shabu Shabu signage in October; new interior sign installed in January.

Today's Pitt News--the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh--has a profile of Top Shabu Shabu, the hot pot restaurant moving into the former Pizza Sola location on Atwood Street.
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.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Japanese language exchange at Kenmawr Apartments, January 29.



The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania shares news of a Japanese language exchange scheduled for Shadyside's Kenmawr Apartments (map) on January 29. The apartment complex is home to a lot of Japanese families recently arrived in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"The Myth of McDonaldization: Globalization and Culture in a Japanese Community, 1961-2014", January 29.

Dr. L. Keith Brown, a professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, will present "The Myth of McDonaldization: Globalization and Culture in a Japanese Community, 1961-2014" as part of this year's MEPPI Japan Lecture Series. A summary from the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania:
Observe more than half a century of change in Japan through photographs and stories. Dr. Keith Brown has been traveling to Mizusawa, a town in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, for 53 years.

Dr. Brown has captured the emergence of car culture and the evolution of agriculture from labor-intensive hand cultivated rice to capital-intensive highly mechanized agriculture. As in America, “Main Street” in the center of town has hollowed out as suburban big box stores have overtaken small shops.

But what does that mean for the lives of the farmers there? Has this Japanese town been “McDonaldized?”
The talk runs from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the US Steel Building, Conference Room 33C12 (map). The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is required by January 23.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) at Hollywood Theater, February 21 and 22.



The Last: Naruto the Movie (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー) will play at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on February 21 and 22, the theater announced today. A summary by the distributor:
The moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis? The final chapter of Naruto's story unfolds!

Naruto has become one of the most popular and recognizable anime and manga series in the United States, with the manga volumes frequently appearing on the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers List and the Naruto Shippuden anime ranked as one of the top three anime series by the Los Angeles Times. With over 683 chapters and 367 anime episodes and more to come, Naruto continues to be a pillar in the US’s anime and manga culture.
The Last will premiere in the US on February 20. Tickets for the two Pittsburgh shows are now available online. Both screenings are in Japanese with English subtitles, and guests will receive free mini-posters while supplies last.

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.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) at Regent Square Theater, January 24 - 29.



The Regent Square Theater will present The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) from January 24 through 29. The highly-acclaimed 2013 Studio Ghibli film made its Pittsburgh debut at the Row House Cinema in December, and was announced as an Oscar nominee this week for Best Animated Feature . An A.V. Club review provides a summary:
A humble bamboo cutter named Okina (translation: “old man”) happens upon a glowing stalk in the grove near his house. When he investigates, the shimmering tree blossoms reveal a baby nested inside. Believing this discovery to be a gift from the heavens, Okina brings her home to his wife Ouna (“old woman”), with whom he begins to raise the child as their own. Dubbing her “Princess” Kaguya, Ouna and Okina marvel at how rapidly the girl begins to grow, racing from infancy to pre-adolescence in a matter of days.

While Kaguya busies herself with a normal childhood, making friends with the local kids and bonding with an older boy named Sutemaru, her adopted father becomes distracted by Kaguya’s value to him—the bamboo shoot from which she was born begins producing gold. As Kaguya transforms into a teenager, Okina relocates their family to the capital city, where the girl receives lessons on how to be a proper woman, and is celebrated as a rare beauty. When five aggressive suitors come calling—followed by the emperor himself—Kaguya begins to feel trapped, things falling apart as she imagines a different life for herself.
It goes on to say the film has "some of the most beautifully expressive animation that Ghibli (or anyone else) has ever produced".
Showtimes are available at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website. The website says the 24th and 25th screenings will be dubbed in English, while the other shows will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Regent Square Theater is located at 1035 S. Braddock Ave. (map).

Pittsburgh signs 강정호, is now the biggest story in Korean sports.


via @Pirates.

Pittsburgh is the biggest story in Korean sports today as the Pirates have finalized a contract with shortstop Jung-ho Kang (강정호). The Pirates advertised the deal on Twitter, and included a pronunciation guide; that will come in handy, as far too many Americans pronounced the song "Gayng-num Style" rather than "Gahng-nahm". If Kang appears in a regular-season game, he'll be just the second Korean in Pirates' history to do so, after pitcher Chan-ho Park's brief 2010 stint, during which he became the winningest Asian pitcher in Major League Baseball history.

The signing is currently the fourth-hottest story on Naver, South Korea's largest internet portal:

"China's Next Decade: How Scarcity Will Redefine Business Opportunity in the World's Most Important Growth Market" at Pitt, January 22.



The University of Pittsburgh will host Bill Adams and his talk "China's Next Decade: How Scarcity Will Redefine Business Opportunity in the World's Most Important Growth Market" on January 22. Pitt's Asian Studies Center profiles Adams:
Bill Adams, senior international economist for The PNC Financial Services Group, is responsible for forecasting international economic conditions and exchange rates for PNC, covering emerging Asia, the European Union, Canada and Latin America. Adams serves as PNC's principal spokesperson on global economic issues and frequently presents to its clients on the international economic outlook. He joined PNC in July 2011 after serving as resident economist for The Conference Board China Center from 2009 to 2011. In that position he served as spokesman on the Chinese business cycle and was a designer of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for China®, a widely-followed, market-moving economic indicator. Bill lived in China for five years and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He serves as vice president of The Economic Club of Pittsburgh, is a member of the Economics Advisory Council of the Duquesne University Palumbo Donahue School of Business, and is an advisory board member and center associate of the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center. Bill holds a master degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is a graduate of Harvard College.
The event is free and open to the public and begins at 4:30 in 104 Mervis Hall (campus map).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kang signing appears imminent.


via Naver / 국민일보.

The Kukmin Ilbo reports, via ESPN, that shortstop Kang Jung-ho and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a US$16 million contract. The graphics team was hard at work today, though nothing will be official until after Kang's physical on Thursday.

The Pirates won the rights to negotiate with the 27-year-old shortstop in December. If he signs and plays, he will be the second Korean to appear for Pittsburgh in the regular season, after pitcher Chan-ho Park in 2010.

Korean film 10 Minutes (10분) announced as part of 2015 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival.



The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival announced today that the 2013 Korean movie 10 Minutes (10분) will be part of its 2015 lineup. A summary from the Busan International Film Festival, where the movie premiered in 2013:
A young man preparing for an exam to work for a broadcasting company starts to work as an intern and a junior government employee. He is only there to make some money before finding a real job, but when his boss tells him that he wants to hire him full-time, he is tempted. After going through the interview and getting congratulated from others in the office, he is shocked that the full-time position is in fact given to someone else. An older co-worker tells him that it was a set-up, and the young man decides to fight the decision. The fight for justice is not as easy as his co-worker says. The film cruelly looks on as the man stoops lower and lower, from an intern loved by both co-workers and managers, to a disgruntled employee. He is at a crossroads. Should he stay a good, social employee, or start anew as a straggler?
The festival will run from March 19 through 28, and April 8 through 11. Showtimes and a complete list of films to follow.