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Japanese Culture

January 1, 1989 | ITABARI NJERI, Times Staff Writer
Jerry Yoshitomi, director of the Japanese-American Community Center, Stanford-educated and married to an Irish-Catholic American, is pondering the cultural fate of his two children, his future grandchildren--the entire Japanese-American community. He recalls his family's 1988 New Year's Day in Los Angeles: "We woke up in the morning and went to Mass at St. Brigid's, which has a black gospel choir. Fantastic. So we had the Catholic black gospel experience.
April 24, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Avril Lavigne has answered critics who've labeled her new "Hello Kitty" video as racist. It appears Ms. Lavigne begs to disagree. "RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video…," she tweeted Wednesday, "…specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan. The tune, co-written with hubby Chad Kroger of Nickelback, is heavy on references to Japan's " kawaii " culture, which encompasses all things cute.
October 31, 1998
* The Oxnard Buddhist Temple continues its Japanese culture and language school Saturday mornings in the social hall. At 10:45 a.m. Sunday, the Togen Daiko Group opens Taiko Japanese drumming class for dharma school students. For more information call the church, 250 South H St., at 483-5948.
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
SÃO PAULO, Brazil - This mega city 270 miles southwest of Rio is the largest in South America and Brazil's main destination for culture, night life and cosmopolitan gastronomy. Where you'll see soccer: The action kicks off at the new Arena Corinthians, where Brazil takes on Croatia on June 12 in the opening match. This temple to soccer in the Itaquera district, a bit outside São Paulo proper, also hosts the semifinals on July 7. FIFA, soccer's world governing body, is setting up a giant outdoor screen at Vale do Anhangabaú, a big public square in a beautiful but often sketchy part of downtown, where fans and festivities should be plentiful and rowdy.
August 10, 1995 | LAURIE K. SCHENDEN
Ryusho Inouye, a former Boyle Heights businessman who was born in Montebello, counts among his proudest moments receiving a medal for his judo exhibition at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. During World War II, Inouye and mostly everyone he knew in Los Angeles was shipped to an internment camp. Little Tokyo, the center of Japanese culture at the time, became a virtual ghost town.
October 4, 1997
A Japanese culture and language school will be held in the social hall of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple from 9 a.m. to noon today. The class is open to the public. At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the Dharma School service for children in kindergarten through high school will include installation of new officers. A Dharma School Taiko class, teaching Japanese drumming, will be held at 11 a.m. The Oxnard Buddhist Temple is at 250 South H St. More information is available at 483-5948.
October 10, 1998 | NICK GREEN
Japanese music, dancing and food will be among the highlights of the annual Japanese Cultural Festival scheduled for Sunday in Camarillo. "We have many new artists this year, including the Togen Daiko drum group and demonstrations of kendo [Japanese fencing], Okinawa dance and karate," said Carolyn Morinishi, a spokeswoman for the event's sponsor, the Ventura County chapter of the Japanese-Americans Citizens League. "Special activities for children will feature storytelling and Japanese crafts."
November 27, 1989 | From Times Staff and wire service reports
Priceless art treasures, many of them hidden for centuries from Western eyes, are on display in Belgium in a three-month festival called "Europalia 89," the biggest celebration of Japanese culture ever held outside Japan. With an ambitious program of painting, sculpture, music, theater and film in full swing, the festival's Belgian organizers hope to give a rare insight into a country which for many remains an enigma.
August 24, 1986 | MAX JACOBSON
Gardena's Kyoto Sukiyaki is a nightclub and restaurant, but it's also a one-evening mini-course in modern Japanese culture. Despite a shopping mall location and a name that sounds suspiciously like one of those places where the chef can make a butcher knife do everything but sing "The Tennessee Waltz," Kyoto Sukiyaki manages to be something quite authentic. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I really had a good time at this restaurant. Why am I embarrassed?
August 6, 1995
A Japanese drum festival, a parade, martial arts demonstrations, and a tea ceremony are some of the events to be held during the upcoming Nisei Week Japanese Festival from Aug. 12 through Aug. 20. The festival, begun in 1934, is a celebration of Japanese culture, said Kats Kunitsugu, a spokeswoman for the Nisei Week Japanese Festival Committee. "The purpose is for the younger generation to get back to their roots," Kunitsugu said.
January 21, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Despite criticism from conservationists and some prominent global figures, Japan carried out its annual capture and killing of bottlenose dolphin Tuesday after trapping about 250 of the engaging mammals in a small and infamous south-central cove. Critics of the dolphin hunt and drive this year included Japanese music legend Yoko Ono and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing," Kennedy, the recently arrived U.S. envoy and daughter of John F. Kennedy, tweeted last week , adding that the U.S. government opposes such forms of fishery.
November 29, 2013 | By Nico Lang, guest blogger
I honestly can't tell what's more disturbing, the fact that Katy Perry dressed up in “ yellowface ” or that anyone thought it was “ beautiful .” Last weekend, the “I Kissed a Girl” singer appeared at the American Music Awards to perform her new single, “Unconditional,” dressed in a kimono. Perry went all the way with borrowing from Japanese culture, writes Vulture: “geisha moves ... giant fans, cherry blossoms, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and much more.” The Wall Street Journal's Jeff Wang  commented that the “performance was also a harsh reminder of how deeply anchored the archetype of the exotic, self-sacrificing 'lotus blossom' is in the Western imagination.” However, Chris Talbott of the Associated Press   didn't find anything wrong with it. Talbott responded by saying Perry  looked  “like a princess out of a classic Japanese painting.” Here we can see that the bigger issue with Perry's “ demeaning and harmful iconography ” is that some people don't see it as an issue - because cultural appropriation has become so commonplace.
June 22, 2013 | By Leah Ollman
"Japan's Modern Divide" at the Getty Museum expands to full scale the classic art history course drill: slides by two artists appear side by side on the screen; compare and contrast. The show features two mid-20th-century photographers who practiced at opposite ends of the aesthetic spectrum. It could just as easily have been titled Sense and Sensibility. Or, in keeping with the didactic nature of the exercise, Subject and Subjectivity. Hiroshi Hamaya (1915-99) is far better known in the U.S. than his counterpart, Kansuke Yamamoto (1914-87)
March 7, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Emotions have been running high at screenings of the historical drama "Emperor. " The Japanese American coproduction, which opens Friday, revolves around the dilemma Gen. Douglas MacArthur faced as he tried to restore order in post-World War II Japan: Should the country's divine leader, Emperor Hirohito, stand trial and face certain death on war crimes charges? When the producers screened "Emperor" recently in Japan, producer Gary Foster said, many men were in tears as they left the theater.
February 23, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Donald Richie, an American expatriate in Japan who became that country's preeminent Western interpreter, explaining its culture - from cinema to Zen to tattoos - in books and essays that illuminated the author's psyche as much as that of his adopted home, has died. He was 88. Richie, who lived in Japan for more than 50 years, died Tuesday in Tokyo after a series of small strokes and other ailments, said his longtime friend Christopher Blasdel. An Ohio native, Richie discovered Japan in the early years of its struggle to recover from the devastation of World War II. He found a unique freedom there as a gaijin, or foreigner, who, he wrote, "could be expected to know nothing.
December 13, 2012 | By Rosemary McClure
The five-star view will remain the same, but lots of other changes are planned for Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo when it officially changes its name Jan. 1. The hotel has operated as the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzanso for the last 20 years. Fujita Kanko, the property's owner, is investing $90 million to renovate Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, which is known for its 16-acre Japanese botanical garden. Chinzanso means “villa on a mountain of camellias.”  Among the upgrades are a new rooftop, meeting and event space, and Cafe Foresta, an open-kitchen-style restaurant specializing in sweets.  "We possess a truly unique property, an urban resort in a lush garden setting," said Kouichi Urashima, the new general manager and a veteran hotelier.
Steve Otani, 60, of Oxnard wants his Japanese-American children to learn something about their culture other than Nintendo. So Sunday, Otani dragged his wife and three young offspring to a Japanese cultural festival in Ventura in an attempt to return them to their roots. "My kids, they play Nintendo, and they'll drive a Toyota," Otani said. "That's their culture now." Otani also admits that his own knowledge about Japanese culture is fuzzy.
August 6, 2011 | By Dylan Hernandez
Javy Guerra went into Saturday a perfect 10 for 10 in save opportunities. The 25-year-old rookie right-hander had a 1.69 earned-run average. "He has a calmness to him," Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said. But how can you truly measure the inner workings of a reliever who pitches mostly in front of half-empty ballparks in games with little or no postseason implications? "You can't put the step in front of somebody when it's not available," Colletti said.
August 8, 2010 | By Daina Beth Solomon, Los Angeles Times
"What brings you downtown?" the waitress asks as she seats me on a patio shadowed by the skyscrapers on Bunker Hill. I hear this question often. "Actually, I live here," I say, trying not to sound smug. "Just down the hill. " "Oh!" the waitress chirps in surprise. After all, most of the restaurant patrons work in the neighboring office buildings on Grand Avenue or Hope Street. They may stop in for a drink before heading home to a house on a grassy lot fringed with oleander and bougainvillea, but they don't live here.
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