A short documentary by Matthew Hashiguchi People Aren’t All Bad is a finalist for Smithsonian Magazine’s In Motion Video Contest.
This film reveals 89-year-old Yutaka Kobayashi’s experience as a Japanese American before and leading up to WWII.
There’s an Audience Choice Award that will be determined by votes. If you’d like Smithsonian Magazine to recognize an Asian American story, you can vote daily for People Aren’t All Bad is at the bottom under the “American Experience” category.
Winners will be announced on August 11, 2014.
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Fans abound for the gritty, fast-paced, Chinatown-style street ball known as 9-man. In the 1930s, Chinese American men began playing 9-man, a street version of volleyball involving nine players (hence the game’s obvious if not well known name) compared to the six people playing on school and pro teams across the nation. It began as a game for laundry and restaurant workers in the streets and parking lots during an era when Chinese Americans were largely socially segregated from the rest of American society. The sport has roots in Toisan, China, where many early immigrants came from. Seeking a break from work, they created a community for themselves. Even as the Chinese American community expanded, nine-man remained popular and competitive. In the 1940s, Chinese Americans began organizing tournaments inviting teams from New York, Maryland, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and many other cities. The tournaments provided a forum for connection of geographically dispersed Chinese American communities. And as the Chinese American community continues to evolve, nine-man teams unite players from urban and suburban neighborhoods — preserving a certain kind of Chinese American tradition.
Today, Seward Park in New York’s Manhattan Chinatown is the only court with nine-man regulation lines painted on. And old-hands continue to recruit younger players. In a recent New York Times article, long-time player Bob Lee explained nine-man’s appeal for both players and audience: “The offense is more explosive and there is a lot more action. It’s more exciting to watch.”
One can’t write about 9-man without discussing its energy, but also one of its notable rules: the controversial “content rule.” Established in 1991, the rule states that two-thirds of the players must be “100% Chinese descent” and one-third do not need to be 100% but must be able to prove some East Asian descent. Some say the ruling means that the game won’t be run-over by super athletes and will help maintain the 9-man community’s culture and history. Others say its straight-up racist. A big factor in evolving discussions over the rule include focus on the next generations of players, their interests, backgrounds, etc. Just recently a smaller tournament in Newton, Massachusetts, “the Boston Spike-Off,” ditched the content rule and allowed non-Asian players to join the games. For major 9-man tournaments, the rule continues to apply.
This weekend (July 19 and 20), the New York Mini goes down. Ursula Liang concisely explained the spirit: “The most competitive of the teams with players in their 20s and 30s will be battling for a trophy, and the more community-oriented clubs…will be combining competition with some serious hanging out.” Meanwhile, throngs will set up their portable chairs and watch games played on hot summer pavement.
If you have a chance to see a tournament match, practice game, or a chance to see Ursula Liang’s new (ish) documentary “9-Man,” I highly recommend it.
Photo Credits: Andrew Huynh and NY Mini
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is now accepting submissions for CAAMFest 2015, March 12-22, 2015.
CAAMFest is the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian and Asian American films, presenting approximately 130 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Since 1982, the annual festival has been an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers as well as a vital source for new Asian cinema.
Competition categories include the Comcast Narrative Competition, the Documentary Competition, the Emerging Filmmaker Award, the Audience Award for Best Narrative, the Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Loni Ding Award in Social Issue Documentary Award. See past award winners.
Actor, writer Aaron Takahashi is at the tail end of this Kmart commercial. It’s crazy to think that we’re in the middle of summer, and we’re already talking about back-to-school. Usually, when I think of “layaway,” I think of the Christmas holiday season for saving up money for gifts. I most recently saw Takahashi in this Progressive Insurance commercial.
Please Note: This story is fictional and was originally intended for a children’s book.
Kuma (Pt. 3)
Eddy’s life changed right away. He stopped going to school and his family wasn’t allowed to leave the house at night. Eddy spent the first couple of days playing with Kuma and with Julia once she got back from school.
Eddy noticed a lot of strangers were going in and out of his front door and how things around the house were slowly disappearing. He found his mom arguing with a man over a brand new vacuum cleaner his dad had bought her for their anniversary.
“This is brand new and worth five times what you’re offering,” Mrs. Murakami told the man.
“Take it or leave it, Ma’am.”
Mrs. Murakami shook her head and when the man left, Eddy asked her, “Why are you selling the vacuum cleaner?”
From The Hollywood Reporter:
The Vampire Diaries is adding a new character who may not be who she seems.
On the heels of Eureka star Colin Ferguson joining the sixth season, The CW drama will be introducing the recurring character of Ivy, described as sweet and sincere. Actress Emily C. Chang, whose credits include Days of Our Lives and Total Recall, has booked the role.
Not much is known about Ivy, only that she’s “the quintessential girl next door with an unexpected wild side” — but knowing Vampire Diaries, the tide will turn sooner rather than later. She will first appear in the sixth-season premiere. [full story]
Video: courtesy of Stanford Graduate School of Business
At 8Asians, we’ve blogged about Where Are the Asian CEOs?, Americans Expect Business Leaders to Be White, as well as Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) and their Advanced Leadership Program for Asian-American Executives, but it’s always nice to get more exposure to the issues of the “bamboo ceiling,” especially in a high profile piece on National Public Radio:
“”Why aren’t Asians demonstrating those behaviors to be considered to be ‘high potential leadership’ in US companies?” he asks. Specifically, Gee says, they look for assertiveness, initiative, influencing skills, comfort with conflict, customer-facing skills, risk-taking and confidence to disagree. … For any Asian-American leadership program, looking through a cultural lens is crucial, says Linda Akutagawa, CEO at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. She says America’s corporate culture has been long favored one particular style of leadership over others. That dovetails with assumptions about what Asian-Americans are interested in and capable of, Akutagawa says, assumptions based on stereotypes that are three or four decades too old. There is “a bias that Asian-Americans aren’t leaders — we’re just worker bees and techies,” she says.”
The Stanford program is not cheap – $12,000 for five days – and is of course, intended for sponsored corporate executives and managers. In general, all business schools have executive programs and they are usually profit centers for those schools.
The gap in Asian American leadership is ironically very clear in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley in the tech industry, where Asians and Asian Americans make up over 50% of the workforce, yet not nearly as representative in the areas of upper management. This has been all the clearer with the recent disclosure by tech giants like Google, Facebook and others releasing the demographics of their U.S. workforce composition.
Season 3, Episode 4 (originally aired July 8): “Sexual Healing”
Microsynopsis: Kunal Nayyar as Sanjay, also known as Neil from a Season 2 episode, returns to the bar to make amends as a recovering sex addict. Melanie is quick to forgive, but Steve thinks sex addiction is a sham, believing this to be another sleazy move on Sanjay’s part. The other regulars ask Sanjay for advice in picking up women.
Good: There are some brief moments when Ok Cha and Jack get to interact as husband and wife, and it’s pretty cute. Melanie and Steve reminisce over bad advice they’ve given each other as friends, and that’s pretty sweet. There are a lot of pretty women in the bar this week, a trend I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.
Bad: There is no Susan for the second episode in a row. The Sanjay-sex-addict story is so far out there that it might as well have fairy godmothers and pumpkins turning into chariots. What does it say about a guest-actor’s performance when it’s so over-the-top that it makes Ken Jeong’s appearance earlier this season look stoic?
Hapa moment: Some might pshaw this as a hapa moment, but when Jack and Ok Cha discuss their money the way everyone’s parents discuss money, we get to be reminded that from Steve’s point of view, this is what parents talking like married people look like, even though this may be the first married couple in American TV history to look anything at all like my own parents behaving like married people. It’s kind of a neat thing, and I wonder if non-hapa viewers notice it at all, and I wonder if I’d prefer that they notice it or not notice it. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it.
Overall: Just a silly, stupid episode with lots of pretty actresses being sexy and one big-name comic actor really hamming it up. Except for one moment when Owen and Ahmed clink mugs after insisting they have no addictions (something that passes for subtle in this episode), there’s not much to laugh at.
Final grade, this episode: D+.
Confirming the news that the Rockets traded Jeremy Lin to the Lakers on Friday, Jeremy posted a photo of himself in a Lakers hat and doing the LA hand sign.
Via JLin7 on Instagram:
Thank you to Houston fans, media, Rockets staff, coaches and teammates for the last 2 years! Sad it never went, or ended, the way I had envisioned it to, but God always has a perfect plan and I’ll forever cherish that chapter of my life. Im SO blessed to join the Lakers and cant wait to get started!!! #purpleandgold #calikid
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 13, 2014
Hopping on the Taipei MRT local subway, you can easily take one of the main lines to the very northern stop at a small town called Dansui, also spelled “Tamsui”. This small town was once a major port of commerce in the 1800s, and it has historic sites worth checking out, such as the Dutch Fort San Domingo or Hongmao Castle and old temples that have absorbed the hopes, fears, and dreams of generations of people in the area. Unfortunately, our time constraints didn’t allow us to visit such historic points of interest, but we did at least get a chance to enjoy a bike ride along the harbor and really experience the ambiance of the place.
I’d read that Dansui is known for beautiful sunsets, but our day was a cloudy one. Nevertheless, there was a certain mysterious otherworldly feel to the place as a result, and the gloom actually created its own sort of melancholy beauty.
Of course, we had to start off with renting our bikes.
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It’s the news that’s lighting up the internet… Jeremy Lin was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Lakers.
JLin himself hasn’t made a public comment yet, but keep I keep reloading his Twitter feed (@JLin7) to see if he does.
Since this is an evolving, breaking story, I’ll just put up some links.
If you didn’t already know, the announcement that UFC Fight Pass is now distributing top female MMA promotion Invicta FC content was already big news, but the bigger news is they finally announced date and fight card for Invicta FC8: Waterson vs. Tamada.
That’s right, the highly anticipated IFC8 is headlined by two Asian women MMA fighters in a championship bout. Excuse me while I implode with excitement.
Asian American Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson will be defending her Atomweight champion belt against Yasuko Tamada from Japan. Another notable APIA female MMA fighter is Jinh Yu Frey, also atomweight, who will be fighting her first Invicta fight against Invicta veteran Jodi Esquibel. Time to get my Fight Pass.