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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 6, 2005 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
Every move Komomo makes is rooted in Japanese ritual. The way her body sinks to kneel, or how she uses just the fingertips of her right hand to slide open the wood-framed Japanese doors. The way she moves like smoke across the room on her dancer's toes.
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.
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 1, 1994 | MARY GUTHRIE
Torrance businessman Sam Fuji wants to bring Japanese culture to America, and he thinks Frank Sinatra--or at least the crooner's songs that are karaoke favorites--can help. The electronics executive is one of the founders of Nikkei International Assn., a nonprofit group that plans to use the culture and traditions of Japan, such as karaoke, to promote cultural understanding. The group will hold its organizational meeting Sept. 25 at Sambi of Tokyo restaurant in Downey.
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