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Japanese Culture

August 7, 1986 | MARILYN OLIVER
The 46th Nisei Week Japanese Festival this Friday through Aug. 17 provides a midsummer break and an opportunity to sample the best of an exotic culture. The festival was started by Nisei, or second generation Americans of Japanese ancestry, to honor their ethnic heritage.
April 21, 1987 | LESLIE BERKMAN, Times Staff Writer
Hitomi Sano ruefully remembers her first day at an American school in Irvine three years ago. When lunchtime came around, the 6-year-old girl from Japan unpacked her favorite meal--a rice ball laced with black seaweed. Her classmates laughed. "I couldn't speak (English), so I was crying," recalled Hitomi, who now speaks English so fluently that she accompanies her mother to parent-teacher meetings to serve as an interpreter.
February 28, 1993 | Noel Perrin, Noel Perrin, Perrin teaches at Dartmouth. He is the author of "Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879. "
It is not often that an American writes a Japanese-style book about Japan. Successful books of this sort are rare indeed. But John Elder has just produced a small masterpiece in the genre. "Following the Brush" is a collection of eight linked essays, all deriving from a remarkable year that Elder and his family spent in Japan. At home, Elder is a professor both of literature and of environmental studies at Middlebury College. As a literary type, he got interested in the poetry of Basho.
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.
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.
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.
December 25, 1988 | ALEX RAKSIN
These perspicacious photographs and prose portraits afford an intimate view of Japan, from serendipitous Tokyo, which hums efficiently despite a haphazard cityscape that confuses even cab drivers, to timeless, traditional Kyoto, where a joyous, almost carnival mood prevails outside soulful shrines and minimalist gardens.
September 28, 1986
The CBS movie "American Geisha" was one of the most exquisitely performed and sensitive pictures I have ever seen. Pam Dawber played the title role beautifully. The movie gave me an insight into the Japanese culture. I'd like to thank CBS for broadcasting "American Geisha" and for giving us something other than the "shoot-'em-up" movies with their constant and inevitable chase scenes. Vernice Irwin, Palm Springs
February 5, 2006 | Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press Writer
Masa sits on the couch in his apartment with his arm around Konoha's shoulders, gently brushing her hair away from her bright blue eyes. Iris stands behind them, decked out in a frilly dress. Masa speaks warmly to Konoha and Iris, greeting them brightly each morning and when he returns from work, but they never answer. His companions are life-sized dolls. Konoha is his favorite.
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