I admit, there was a time when I was tempted to walk into a kendo dojo and ask if they taught Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu (Flying Heavenly Govern Sword-Style). Sounds impressive right? Except that it’s a fictional sword art. That’s right. Fake. But I loved watching the anime Rurouni Kenshin so much that, much like the universe of Star Trek, it was real enough to me. Exciting news for all the fans out there like me is [...] Continue »
Lucy Liu recently discussed racism in Hollywood, the problem with not being American enough and not being Asian enough–the classic paradoxical existence every Asian American lives in. She’s tired of being the emotionless Asian girl or the Asian girl that kicks your butt. But her role in “Elementary“, a contemporary re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes in New York, throws a sizable wrench in the Asian female stereotypes by casting her as Dr. Joan Watson. What’s cool [...] Continue »
Do you live on planet Earth and have a poetic streak? Well, here’s the chance of a lifetime, even if you are a terrible poet. Write up a haiku poem to Mars, submit it to the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), and voilà, your name will be on a DVD flying to Mars with the MAVEN. If you’re one of the top three that win the public vote, your whole haiku poem will [...] Continue »
Asian American chefs, writers, and bloggers are making their mark on food writing, with many nominated for the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Awards. These finalists are in categories ranging from Hiroko Shimbo in American, Jen King in Baking, to Charles Phan in Chefs and Restaurants and First Book. Many finalists also are from the San Francisco Bay Area, like Phan, Andrea Nguyen (nominated for her book Asian Tofu, shown in the trailer [...] Continue »
Rarely do I pick up a book so engrossing that I realize that no matter how tired I am, I am compelled to read “just one more chapter” before I realize that I have come to the end of the book and finished it in one sitting, much like the first time I read Ender’s Game. Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge, a collection of loosely linked short stories, is one of those books. Revenge is a series [...] Continue »
It is a truth universally acknowledged that [those who assume] a man in good fortune must be in want of a wife. Bullshit, I say, as I try to purge my mind from the insidious exposure I have had to the online charlatan presenting herself as a paragon of women’s equality, Joy Chen. Her pedantic bi-lingual blog and book Do Not Marry Before Age 30, which has been available worldwide in Chinese, are both an [...] Continue »
When I was a kid, I LOVED comic books. I bought every X-Men comic I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. This was a long time ago and back then the idea of Asian American superheroes was pretty much unheard of. This is not to say that Asian/Asian Americans weren’t in comic books. The one prominent one I remember reading was Sunfire. Here is the Wikipedia description of him: Sunfire is a temperamental [...] Continue »
Congratulations are in order for Academy Award winning actress, Octavia Spencer, who has just signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster to release two books aimed at young adults, inspired by classic investigative series like Nancy Drew. The problem? The project is titled Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective and the first book is summarized as such: Randi Rhodes isn’t your average twelve-year-old. She’s a Brooklyn vigilante with a Tae Kwon Do black belt. But circumstances [...] Continue »
Compelling stories and powerful images allow us to remember or learn our histories. Here are three different narratives of the Vietnamese diaspora experience, expressed through three different mediums: a memoir essay, chlorophyl prints, and a novel.
I’m a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. Usually, it’s really important for me to like a character of a story in order to like the story itself, and I don’t always like characters in Miyazaki’s films, but there’s something about the world created in the films that just draws me into them because there’s so much beauty elegantly mixed in with the strange and frightening. Normally, I make it a point to read a [...] Continue »
Hawaii. Simply say the word and you’ll think of a lush green state, possibly resplendent with luaus and hula girls. But what really happened in the history of the 50th state? What role did Asian Americans play? The popular history The Island Edge ($19) by Tom Coffman gives a good introduction, though as a journalist his work skews towards a summary of public opinions.
My favorite pre-Asian American studies, pre-Asian American power, pre-civil rights fictional Asian American character is Lee from East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck. East of Eden is a long epic novel. So it’s difficult to try to encapsulate the entire story in a few short sentences. The best I could find was from the Oprah Book Club: “Three generations, two love triangles, one timeless story. East of Eden is an epic novel full of good [...] Continue »