9.26.2022

Sacred Book Honors Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

The Ireichō is on display at the Japanese American National Museum.



Over the weekend in Los Angeles, the Japanese American National Museum invited the public to view and sign the Ireichō, a sacred book that records -- for the first time ever -- the names of over 125,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were unjustly imprisoned in U.S. Army, Department of Justice, and War Relocation Authority camps during World War II.

Visitors were invited to view the names and use a special Japanese hanko to leave a mark for each person in the Ireichō as a way to honor those incarcerated during World War II. Community participation will "activate" it and rectify the historical record by correcting misspelled names or revealing names that may have been omitted from the record.

The Ireichō will be on display at JANM for one year. A companion virtual monument is available online.

More here: 'There’s our family name': Sacred book honors Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII


9.25.2022

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How Constance Wu Survived That Tweetstorm
In Constance Wu's new book, Making a Scene, the former Fresh Off the Boat star reveals her isolation, racism in her career -- and yes, those tweets -- and how she's moving on.

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At Gracepoint Ministries, 'Whole-Life Discipleship' Took Its Toll
As Gracepoint Ministries, a predominantly Asian American church network, expands to dozens of college towns, former members come forward with claims of spiritual abuse.

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New laws address anti-Asian hate in the long-term, but what about feeling safe right now?
This month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills seeking to address harassment on public transit and in businesses. Meanwhile, the Citizen personal safety app announced it was providing up to 20,000 Asian Americans in the Bay Area with a free one-year subscription. Both try to address anti-Asian hate, but their differences illustrate the complexity of the issue.

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Talking about substance use can be hard for Filipino Americans. Why it's helpful to share stories
Honest conversations about substance abuse disorders and mental health can be difficult for some Filipino families.

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Hua Hsu on His New Memoir, 'Stay True'
Hua Hsu's new memoir is both a coming-of-age story and an evolutionary step for Asian American literature.

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The Stakes of Dictee
An introduction to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's famously difficult work.

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Watching Spirited Away Again, and Again
For Nina Li Coomes, each viewing of Miyazaki's animated feature Spirited Away is a gift.

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"The Field Is Open": Ocean Vuong on Minari's Lasting Cultural Legacy
Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, reflects on the history of Asian American farmers in an original essay from A24's Minari screenplay book.


9.23.2022

They Call Us Bruce 172: They Call Us Yuji Okumoto

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome actor Yuji Okumoto, who stars in season five of Netflix's Cobra Kai as Chozen Toguchi, the role he originated in 1986's The Karate Kid Pt. II. He talks about stepping back into the Karate Kid Cinematic Universe, his (and ours, and everybody's) love for Kumiko, and getting an unexpected redemption arc for his character over thirty years later. This episode is paid for by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Find boosters near you at vaccines.gov.

9.20.2022

Kelly Marie Tran to Star in Biopic on Activist Amanda Nguyen

Nguyen founded the non-profit organization Rise, dedicated to furthering the rights of sexual assault survivors.



Kelly Marie Tran is developing a biopic about her friend, civil rights activist Amanda Nguyen, telling the story of her transformation from a survivor of college sexual assault to an activist for survivors' rights.

Tran will star in and produce the biopic about Nguyen, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who founded civil rights accelerator Rise and wrote the Survivor's Bill Of Rights, which inspired the federal law passed in 2016.

“Over the years, Amanda's activism has changed the lives of billions, as she continues to make our world safer for sexual assault survivors everywhere,” Tran said in a statement. "Her courage inspires me every day, and I am honored to help tell her story."

Tang Yi is in talks to write and direct the film, which is in the early stages of development.

More here: Kelly Marie Tran to Star in, Produce Biopic on Activist Amanda Nguyen


New Documentary Revisits the Legend of Linsanity

'38 at the Garden' premieres October 11 on HBO.



I'll always remember the night Jeremy Lin dropped a stunning 38 points on the Lakers at Madison Square Garden. A new documentary short, 38 at the Garden, chronicles the extraordinary ascendance of your favorite Asian American point guard during his landmark 2012 season with the New York Knicks -- the period that affectionately became known as "Linsanity." You know the story. But I'll never get tired of it.

A decade later, Lin's stature as a groundbreaking, cultural icon stands in stark relief to the recent hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. 38 at the Garden recognizes a pivotal moment in time for Lin and celebrates a phenomenon that was bigger than basketball for the world. The film features a candid, new interview with Lin, as well as journalists Lisa Ling and Pablo Torre, comedians Ronny Chieng, Hasan Minhaj and Jenny Yang, and Knicks teammates Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert.

Here's the trailer:

9.19.2022

Wakaji Matsumoto — An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917–1944

Online exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum



Wakaji Matsumoto — An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917–1944 is an online exhibition and public program about an artist and pioneer in Pictorialism who documented the lives of Japanese immigrant farmers in rural Los Angeles during the early 1900s and created rare images of urban life in Hiroshima prior to the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.

The online exhibition, presented by the Japanese American National Museum, highlights rarely seen early photographs of Los Angeles prior to World War II and of Hiroshima before the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb through the single lens of photographer Wakaji Matsumoto.

"Wakaji Matsumoto's photographs of farms that were operated by Japanese Americans in the Los Angeles area demonstrate the difficult life of Japanese Americans and their resolve and resilience," says Dennis Reed, the curator of the exhibition. "His photographs of Hiroshima are the largest-known photographic archive of the city prior to the atomic bomb. Today, our knowledge of the city's horrific fate lends a pall of melancholy over these tender images. They bear the weight of history."

View the online exhibition here: janm.org/exhibits/wakaji-matsumoto

Eugene Cordero Upped to Series Regular on 'Loki'

He played Time Variance Authority employee Casey in season one.



Eugene Cordero has been reportedly promoted to series regular on season two of Marvel's Loki. Cordero played the Time Variance Authority employee "Casey" in the first season of the Disney+ series. He only made a handful of appearances on the show, so it's pretty cool to see him make the jump to a bigger role.

Eugene is one of my favorite actors working today. If you don't know him from, say, his fan-favorite role as "Pillboi" on The Good Place, you've probably seen him in a dozen other things, including Easter Sunday, The Mandalorian, Kong: Skull Island, Tacoma FD, and The Good Place, to name a few.

More here: 'Loki': Eugene Cordero Upped To Series Regular For Season 2


Judge Overturns Murder Conviction of Adnan Syed of 'Serial'

Syed has been in prison for 23 years for the murder of high school classmate Hae Min Lee.



Adnan Syed, whose case was chronicled by the popular podcast Serial, was released from prison Monday after spending 23 years behind bars on charges that he murdered his former high school girlfriend.

Judge Melissa M. Phinn of Baltimore City Circuit Court overturned Syed's murder conviction in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, finding that prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence that could have helped Syed at trial and discovered new evidence that could have affected the outcome of his case.

The office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City said in a motion filed last week that there was new information about two potential alternative suspects in the homicide. While prosecutors aren't saying Syed is innocent, they are saying they lack confidence in "the integrity of the conviction."

Prosecutors have 30 days to decide if they will proceed with a new trial or drop the charges against Syed, who was ordered to serve home detention until then.

More here: Judge Vacates Murder Conviction of Adnan Syed of 'Serial'


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9.18.2022

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Inside the forgotten story of the Chinatown mothers who mobilized during the Boston busing crisis
Boston's 1970s busing crisis typically has been cast as a Black and white struggle. What is less known is how Chinese immigrant women organized a three-day school boycott that changed Chinatown for decades to come.

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As anti-Asian bigotry rises across the U.S., a Temple professor’s civil rights suit becomes more relevant
Xiaoxing Xi, a Temple University physics professor who was falsely accused of spying for China, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. government in 2017. The case was dismissed. Xi was back in court Wednesday to get his lawsuit reinstated.

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Why Yuh-Line Niou Didn't Run Again
Yuh-Line Niou lost her re-election campaign by a narrow margin. While her supporters hoped she would run in the general election on a third-party ticket, she gave a rundown of reasons why she won't be challenging Dan Goldman this election cycle.

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'They Break Up Families' — Crypto Scam Leaves Lasting Scars for Atlanta's Korean Community
A multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency scam targeted Atlanta's Korean community, reflecting a national trend that targets immigrant communities.

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She Fought Racism in Early Hollywood. Now She'll Be the First Asian American on US Currency
Sixty years after her death, Anna May Wong's legacy lives on in film and fashion. Now her contributions will be honored by one of the most quintessentially American symbols: the quarter.

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Meet the cookbook author who's bringing Taiwanese-American flavors to cannabis edibles
From coffee jelly to snowflake crisp nougat, Monica Lo explores her heritage through culinary cannabis.

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Making a Netflix Rom-Com That's a Trojan Horse for Exploring “Structural Racism and Sexism"
Georgia Lee, showrunner of Netflix's Partner Track discusses how she used the rom-com genre to tell a different story about race, gender, love and the workplace.

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'She-Hulk' Actor Benedict Wong Talks Living in the "Wong Cinematic Universe"
With several appearances across the MCU's Phase 4, Wong has become a fan-favorite character. Most recently, the Sorcerer Supreme, played by Benedict Wong, joins the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.


9.16.2022

They Call Us Bruce 171: They Call Us Jamie Ford

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome bestselling author Jamie Ford, whose latest novel The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is described as an "epigenetic love story." He talks about the tragic real life of the first Chinese woman in America, weaving the intricate story of her imagined descendants, and exploring (and perhaps overcoming) inherited intergenerational trauma. This episode is paid for by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Find boosters near you at vaccines.gov.

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