To say that I have never driven in Seoul, South Korea is a lie. To say that I have driven on the US military bases in Seoul, South Korea is the truth. However, to say that I have never driven on South Korean soil is the truth. Confused? Bottom line: I have yet to drive outside of the US military bases in Seoul or anywhere in South Korea. Why? Here’s why:
1) Public transportation is cheap and effective. 2) I live near the base so I can easily walk to and from there. 3) I think I’d rather jump off of the Seoul Tower before even attempting to drive in the dreaded traffic. 4) I usually do not go anywhere far to need a car. 5) I have a personal chauffeur by the name of Daddy, and I’ll take advantage of that as long as I can. More »
I have always believed that there are only three living beings in this world that won’t go away easily. Cher, cockroaches and the bitchy homeless guy near my office who would utter stuff like “well, it’s good karma to give money you know” whenever I ignore him. Now there seems to be a fourth. Even my endless prayer to the God of Ultimate Drought cannot seem to take care of this sore in my eye. He is the feminine looking, non-talented and uber annoying Korean Pop star, Rain.
After failing to capture the hearts of the American moviegoers with Speed Racer this past summer, Rain went back to the recording studio to work on his fifth album which is scheduled to be released this fall. Now the album is done and pansy here wants to reward his fans by releasing the teaser MV of one of the songs in the album. I can hear some of his female fans screaming and pulling their hair already. The song is called “Love Story” and Korean actress Ha Ji-Won has co-starred in the MV opposite Rain. According to a reliable source (more like his PR machine), the story is about the dark and sizzling love story between a bad boy and a femme fatale. Rain will expose the sexy, yet dangerous aspect of himself. I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth when I wrote the last sentence.
For those who care about this, the teaser video will be released on Naver, Daum, Cyworld, and MNet.com this month.
Okay so they’ve finally casted the lead female for Hana Yori Dango, unfortunately it’s not some sexy boy toy who can pass off as a girl. It’s Gu Hye Seon.
Never seen her in anything before but she’s won a few big awards: 2007 SBS Acting Awards (New Star Award) and 2006 KBS Acting Awards (New Actress Award). Not only that but she’s sang the theme song for her drama Pure 19 and been in a few music videos. She’s got to be good right?
Honestly she’s a little too mature looking for me. While she does embody the innocent girl look, she’s not quite the perfect fit for me. I would have definitely gone for a bigger star or at least a cuter one like Kim Tae Hee. If you’ve seen the Japanese Hana Yori Dango, Kim Tae Hee and Mao Inoue might as well be twins.
Again I’m disappointed with the cast but hopefully the show will still be good. I’m still praying for them to boot Gu Hye Seon for a boy toy.
Daniel Pink gave a greatly entertaining and informative lecture at Japan Society, New York, tonight about the incredible spread of manga around the world. Ningin blogger Mia Lerda and I thought we were going to hear more about Mr. Pink’s new book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, but Mr. Pink gave a larger socio-economic lesson on the power of the dojinshi in Japan’s manga-based economy operating under amoku no ryokai. Sounds complex? Well, it is, or near impossible, in a lawsuit-prone USA. Mia’s writing a complete report to sort it out for you. More »
The Innovative Daniel H. Pink will be lecturing at The Japan Society of New York this Monday. The accomplished author will be speaking about his time in Japan when he studied the culture and society of Manga. As the writer of “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, he breaks a new mold as the first American author of a business related Manga! Yes… you heard that right, this New York Times best seller’s new endeavor is in Manga format.
The lead protagonist of this Japanese style comic, Johnny Bunko, is a just your average Joe. He has never strayed from normal expected behavior like listening to his parents or teachers. What is wrong with this? Like so many of us, Johnny is stuck at a dead-end job that he doesn’t like, more so, he’s is just upset with the way his career path is going. He begins to suspect that his knowledge on balancing career and happiness is just plain lacking. One bizarre night in a Japanese restaurant, Johnny meets Diana, the unlikeliest career advisor he will ever meet. Described as part Cameron Diaz, part Barbara Eden (I Dream of Genie) , she uses her otherworldly powers and wisdom to reveals the six essential lessons for thriving in the world of work.
Dan Pink’s past work have been published in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Wired (where he is also an contributing editor). His analysis of business & technology trends have been seen on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NPR, and other various national/international networks. Even more interesting is Dan held a position in the White House, where he served as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.
The Japan society is situated on 333 east 47th st, right across from a lovely park called Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. For ticket information on this or other events hosted there you can call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258.
Voting for the Cosplay Photoshoot Contest is official closed as of 12PM today. It’s been a long week and we’re happy to finally announce the winner! We’ve gone through over 500 contest entries and chosen 50 finalists which is now down to the top three.
Again, the top three will be interviewed by our Ningin Bloggers while the overall best cosplayer voted by the users will receive two super exclusive tickets to the private premiere of the Megaman Movie and to Comic Con in February 2009.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. So now without further ado, the contest winners are…. More »
On Friday October 3, 2008, James Yee and other notables attended an Obama Victory Fund event at the home of Laurie and Scott Oki in Bellevue, WA. The Asian American Finance Committee also headed the event.
Representative Mike Honda was scheduled to attend this event, but he was unable to attend, because he was voting on the Emergency Bill to bail out Wall Street. The first person that spoke at this event was Washington State Senator, Maria Cantwell. She talked about why Obama is good for Washington State and for America. There were several people who were there from the Microsoft community. It was not surprising, because Microsoft is headquartered in Seattle. More »
The world of Asian Media is small and you can find fans everywhere, even where you least expect it. 4 months ago I would have never thought that I would be dancing along side Ichigo Pantsu, a group of girls ready to boogy to just about anything. Lara and I had met this group at AnimeNext this year, competing against them in the masqurade. Both our routines involved dancing but, in the end IchiP! kinda kicked our butts with neater costumes and sharper moves. However this time around at NY Anime Festival, we met again as better friends with a common interest in dance. On the last day of the con, IchiP! had a dance workshop where they taught a very popular para para called “Night of Fire” by Hinoi Team. It was so much fun to learn from these energetic teachers. We later had an interview with the three girls Erica (IchiRi), Michele (IchiRu), and Venus (IchiRe). Unfortunately, the 4th member Laura (IchiRa) couldn’t attened because we all know she’s having the greatest time ever studying abroad in Japan. The girls were extremely nice and were willing to dance with us in the end!
All these news about the recent Korean celebrity suicides made me think about the past. My mind went down memory lane, and then I decided to Youtube videos of my favourite ahjumma style songs. Or at least the old songs from when I enjoyed as a child. One of the songs I entered was 인디안 인형처럼 (Indian Inhyung Chu-lum = Like an Indian Doll) originally done by Nami. More »
I tried to depart a little from the traditional martial-arts genre. Instead of treating these characters as heroes, I wanted to see them as ordinary people – at the stage before they became heroes. – Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-wai’s restored, re-scored, expanded, recolored and re-edited Ashes of Time Redux premiered tonight at the New York Film Festival. Playing before a sold out crowd at the 1,131-seat Ziegfeld Theatre, Wong Kar-wai was joined on stage afterward for Q&A with the still beautiful actress Brigitte Lin and cinematographer Christopher Doyle.
The acclaimed film has has been digitally colorized from the 1994 print, at times adding beauty to the cinematography, but sometimes too digitally enhanced for some viewers of the original release depending on who you asked at the screening. It seemed everyone was in agreement the subtitles received a nice revision. Regardless, if you’ve only seen this film on DVD, you’re in for a special treat when this story of swordplay and ill fortunes gets a wider theatrical release in the USA on October 10. More »
Sigh, I guess the following for the once popular Taiwanese boy band F4 still remains strong. I thought the group disbanded, much to my delight, a few years ago but the four members (Jerry Yang, Vannesse Wu, Ken Chu and Vic Zhou) reunited this week and held a concert in Japan. The Japanese organizer had only intended to do three shows but the demand was so strong that they had to add three more. From Bae Yong Joon to these four heart throbs of yesterday, there is no denying that the “obasans” are fascinated with chicks who have a dick.
Below is a link to one of F4’s MVs. Get ready to be dickmatized in a lezzie way!
We got a very special sneak peek of the incredible exhibition opening this weekend at Japan Society, New York City!
New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters is the first comprehensive overview of centuries-old methods of basketry using bamboo as a new medium for modern sculpture in Japan.
As soon as you walk into the lobby, you’ll be greeted by a large-scale, split-bamboo kakoi (enclosure) by bamboo master Kawana Tetsunori commissioned especially for the exhibition by Japan Society. Even the moss underneath the bamboo kakoi is specially selected by the artist. It’s an incredibly tasteful pairing of matching hues and textures. Along the walls, you’ll see a series of intricate bamboo constructions by the New York-based (and only non-Japanese) sculptor Stephen Talasnik, who illuminates Western architectural and engineering principles.
New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters presents 23 innovating artists, many of whom completed rigorous apprenticeships to become master basketmakers before breaking and bending the rules they so dutifully studied.
New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters opens October 4, 2008 and remains on view through January 11, 2009 at Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, New York City. More »
Get this: a director from Iceland films a story about a Filipina transgendered prostitute. How did that happen? Well, truth is stranger than fiction, and director Olaf de Fleur took many cues from real life in “The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela.” In fact, he created a new genre—a “visionmentary.” The unique way he filmed “Queen Raquela” shows how this subculture unfolds in the Philippines and beyond.
By happenstance, de Fleur ran into a couple of overdressed “ladyboys” on a trip to the Philippines. A ladyboy will sometimes describe herself as “a chick with a dick.” Crude, but hey, it gets the point across. These people have not undergone sex-change surgery—they believe they are female on the inside, male on the outside. They dress as girls, and often work as prostitutes, but dream of marrying straight men and having children like little girls anywhere.
De Fleur was fascinated by this “conundrum—it was like a snake eating its tail.” So he found Raquela Rios, one such transsexual, and allowed her to play “herself” in a story that was loosely based on her own life. This filming method gives “Queen Raquela” an engaging plot with the ring of realism. More »
First and foremost, Happy October everyone. It is Brest Cancer Awareness month so please be sure to remember, recognize or donate. Sankyu!
As promised, here’s a double roundup to make up for the one missed a few weeks ago. Gomen gomen! I hope you enjoy this weeks round up as some of the videos are old and new. I really liked picking out this weeks because I didn’t have to be as super selective.
Our Cosplay Photoshoot Contest is still going on so if you haven’t voted please do before Sunday 12PM EST. There are a lot of amazing cosplayers out there so check them out in our on the NY Anime Festival microsite or our gallery.
So again, enjoy! More »
So they finally announced the official cast which I’m hoping is a really bad joke. Honestly I knew all the supposed cast members before were just rumors but it gave me a little hope.
The cast for the Korean version of Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) are: Actor Lee Min Ho as Goo Joon Pyo (Domyouji Tsukasa) SS501’s Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoon (Hanazawa Rui) Actor Kim Bum as So Lee Jung (Nishikado Sojiroh) T-Max’s Kim Joon as Song Yu Bin (Mimasaka Akira)
Urgh it breaks my heart but I guess Kim Hyun Joong isn’t a complete loss. He’s probably the biggest and the cutest star out of the 4 but I rather have Jae Joong~! There is no mention of who will play the lead female, Makino Tsukushi (go figure). I’m still hoping they’ll cast Lee Junki or Jae Joong so we can get some yaoi action, of course that’s just me being hopeful.
The 24 episode TV series will air on Mon – Tues after the drama “The World That They Live In” during the end of December. More »
Hawaiian-born Carrie Ann Inaba’s diverse ethnic background inspired her to pursue a number of divergent paths, each with impressive success. She is a singer, dancer, actor, choreographer and founder/President of EnterMediArts, Inc., a video production company. She directs, writes, and edits films including E! Behind The Scenes Miss America Special, 7th Festival of the Pacific Arts, A Portrait of IVI and Beyond the Dancing Image, along with the short feature film, Black Water.
Currently Carrie Ann appears twice weekly as one of the three judges on “Dancing With The Stars.” She has gained the reputation as the honest, fearless “tell it like it is” judge on this hit show. More »
Marking oneself with a permanent tattoo is a decision that not many “sober people” take lightly. There are some ground rules that even those with tattoo-friendly lifestyles follow and the basic guideline is about choosing wisely when it comes to this form of self expression. With so much to choose from and many regrets to experience if it goes wrong is a good reason to the time to Know your design. Picking a Dragon or Tiger because just because it’s cool is no fly by night option. Your design will still be there in the morning, and every morning thereafter, so you have to grin and bare it if your tiger came out like Tigger instead. Be aware of your artists other clients. Are they happy with their products? Did the artist over touch up appointment? Nothing is worse than a smudgey or faded tattoo.
Tattoo Taboo… the big No No of getting someone elses name tattoo’ed on your body. Maybe your highschool sweetheart, or your first love next to your heart for ever more is nice in theory but we always hear that the practice is not the wisest. What if the person breaks up with you? Can we learn anything from Angelina’s “BillyBob” while now she is married to Brad? More »
Oh, how us fans missed our darling Seoulman, who can make us squeal at the drop of a hat with his rhythmic gyrations. Since his choice to be apart of the American film industry took him away from his musical career it left us all his fans in limbo. At first we all sat and hoped for the best “do your best RAIN, Ajaja Pighting, Gambatte!”…..and after the Speedracer release we pondered “dear lord RAIN darling what were you thinking?” More »
* Have a reason to go out and eat . . . CHECK — It’s someone’s birthday.
* Make sure you have a decent size group . . . CHECK — Get two families for seven people.
* Go to a traditional restaurant . . . CHECK — After discovering there’s an actual parking lot . . . for like five cars!
* Sit on the floor . . . CHECK — Make sure you have a floor cushion for the padding on your bottom.
* Let the birthday person choose what they were craving . . . CHECK — Bulgogi!
* The restaurant ahjummas starts bringing the food and let the fun times begin! More »
New York Anime Festival 2008 has made it as my 9th con. I had some mixed feelings about before but, overall, my experience was pretty good. Friday, Lara and I had arrived to the con a little before 3PM and found Hoc, Lan, Mia, and David at the Ningin booth which, was conveniently located next to the T.M.Revolution booth. Some pictures of cosplayers had already been taken and Lan had requested that we run around and get free stuff for them. My goodness, there was a lot of free stuff like bookmarks, manga, stickers and such. Half way through, the free bags were getting extremely heavy (especially for me since I had to carry two of them). We had also started pointing cosplayers in the direction of the booth for the contest. More »