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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.
July 15, 1993 | BENJAMIN EPSTEIN, Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who frequently contributes to The Times Orange County Edition. This column is one in an occasional series of looks at ethnic arts and culture in and around Orange County.
It's essentially little more than a V-neck gown, yet the kimono is acknowledged to be one of the world's most exquisite garments. They've been worn in Japan since the 6th Century, but they blossomed with the decorative styles of 17th- and 18th-century artisans whose dyeing and weaving techniques continue today.
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.
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.
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
September 6, 1987 | From Reuters
A French court has banned a couple from christening their daughter with a Japanese name, court sources said on Saturday. They said a court in the southwestern city of Lyon had ruled a keen interest in Japanese culture was not enough of a reason for the local family to baptize their daughter Keiko. Under French law, a judge can ban parents from giving their children names deemed unsuitable.
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