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  • Hayao Miyazaki receives Honorary Award by the Academy

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    Hayao Miyazaki receives Honorary Award by the Academy
    Updates November 9, 2014 Last night Hayao Miyazaki was awarded an Oscar for his lifetime of contributions to the motion picture industry at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at its 6th annual Governors Awards ceremony. John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios presented the Oscar to Miyazaki to a standing ovation. This was Miyazaki's...

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  • Civil Rights Activist Todd Endo Remembers Selma

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    January 19, 2015

     

    Journalist Emil Guillermo features 1965 Selma voting rights protest march eyewitness Todd Endo, 74, on NBC News/Asian America today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    Click here to read and view Emil's feature on Todd Endo.

     

    2015 marks the 50th anniversary year of the three voting rights protest marches, from March 7 - 26, 1965 to walk the 54-mile highway from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. 

    Todd Endo's memories of the 1965 voting rights marches still haunt him to this day. A 24 year old graduate student at Harvard and a community church organizer, he learned on March 9, 1965 that his acquaintance Jim Reeb, a white Unitarian minister had traveled from the Boston area to Selma and was killed by white segregationists. Endlo decided to join a group from the Boston area and head to Selma.

    Endo has spent his life working to reform education, desegregate schools, teach disadvantaged students, and help as an organizer in immigrant communities. He spent the first three years of his life with his family in a World War II Japanese American internment camp in Arkansas. 

     

     

     

  • Happy 70th Birthday to Ben Fong-Torres!

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    January 7, 2015

    HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY BEN! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to Jann Wenner, publisher and co-founder of Rolling Stone who is 69 today! Best wishes for many happy and healthy years to come!

    Ben and Jann are looking at photos of themselves from the early days when Rolling Stone started in San Francisco. As super busy as Ben is, he has graciously contributed commentary to our pages here at AsianConnections.com since 2000. Thank you!

    This photo was taken at Rolling Stone's offices in New York by Pulitzer prize-winning photographer and former staff photographer for the New York Times, Marilynn K. Yee for our documentary project LIKE A ROLLING STONE: The LIfe & Times of Ben Fong-Torres.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Still Few Leading Roles for Asian Actors in Hollywood Movies - But the Star is Rising for Randall Park and Miyavi

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 30, 2014

    Hollywood

    Asian American actors are still largely missing from the big screen in major roles. A year-end wrap up shows small gains for major movie roles for Asian American actors in Hollywood.

    Even for Asian actors who are not American, major roles in a current Hollywood movie are scarce.

    First time actor Takamasa Ishihara from Japan made the most of his opportunity.

    Ishihara, a 33 year old singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer known to his fans as Miyavi gave a chilling break-out performance as the brutal sergeant in Angelina Jolie's film "Unbroken."

    Ishihara's role as Sergeant Matsuhiro Watanabe was so intense, he told Vanity Fair's Natalie Finn "It's a story that is still painful for my country," ... "But she (Director Angelina Jolie) told me she wanted to make a bridge between all countries that had conflict. She was very persuasive." And after filming some of the more violent scenes, "I couldn't stop crying," he admitted.

    Ishihara has two daughters with American-born wife, Melody Ishihara, a fashion designer, who was a former TV show host and J-Pop singer known as Melody Miyuki Ishikawa.

    One notable win to be celebrated for an Asian American actor in a Hollywood movie is Randall Park's role in "The Interview." 

    While the hacking scandal at Sony has grabbed international headlines for the comedy "The Interview" and its stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, some writers in the Asian American blogosphere have been abuzz about American actor Randall Park, praising his performance in the movie as Kim Jong-un, North Korea's leader.  

    Park, 40, said there was very little footage of Kim Jong-un available to research his role. He reviewed video of Kim Jong-un from HBO's show "Vice" about basketball star Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea. 

    Prior to "The Interview" Park was previously best known for his role on the HBO comedy series "Veep," as Minnesota Govenor Danny Chung, and has made a number of guest appearances on...

  • 1910-2014 Luise Rainer Academy Award-winner played Chinese servant "O-Lan" in "The Good Earth"

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 30, 2014

    London

    Luise Rainer, the German-born actress who won an Academy Award for her starring role as the Chinese servant "O-Lan" in the 1937 movie "The Good Earth," died of pneumonia today at her home in London at age 104. Luise Rainer was cast in the leading role as the Chinese servant "O-Lan" over other actors including Anna May Wong. Rainer was an Academy Award-winning actress for her role in MGM's "The Great Ziegfeld" one year earlier in 1936. In 1937, Rainer won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Good Earth" becoming the first actress to win consecutive Best Actress Academy Awards. A well known actress in Europe, she was recruited to Hollywood by MGM in 1935, but her career in Hollywood was short-lived and she returned to Europe after disputes with MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer.

    Rainer's passing was announced via Twitter by her daughter, Francesca Knittel Bowyer. Rainer is survived by her daughter, two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren. Bowyer told CNN in an email, "Mummy had the fragility of an orchid, the energy of a hummingbird, the tenacity of a hunter. She could change calm waters into a raging storm with a look and the lift of a finger." "My heart is a hole without her, but that hole will definitely be filled with incredible memories, sweet, salty and funny. I want her memory to linger with those who knew her and be given to those who did not."

    Related:

    Rainer's 1937 Academy Award-winning role as the Chinese servant "O-Lan" in the Hollywood movie "The Good Earth" is a subject covered in history studies on the lack of Asian American actors in major roles in Hollywood film. Novelist Pearl S. Buck won a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for her novel "The Good Earth," and was a public advocate for minority rights and women. Buck reportedly intended the film adaptation of her novel to be cast with all Chinese or Chinese-American actors. A Wikipedia posting cites the Hays Code as one of the reasons for casting...

  • Kala Kaawa wears his Malo to accept his diploma from the University of Hawaii

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 20, 2014

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    23 year-old native Hawaiian Kala Kaawa graduated from the University of Hawaii and was receiving his diploma during the winter commencement ceremony. He earned two bachelor's degrees from the School of Hawaiian Studies. He texted his Mom that he was contemplating taking his robe off to his malo when he received his diploma. Photo Credit: Lei Mahi

      Click here for the full story from Huffington Post writer Carla Herreria. 

    Kaawa told the Huffington Post's Carla Herreia he wanted to use the traditional Hawaiian malo garment to remind people "not to be ashamed of your culture, whether you are Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan, etc." and to "know your roots, represent and perpetuate!

    Not just for yourself, but for your family, your ancestors and the future generations of your culture.

    "I was so touched by the reaction of the crowd that I stood there in complete awe for a while ... soaking in the feeling of accomplishment and pride for my culture," he told The Huffington Post.

    "It felt really good to be received that way by such an enormous crowd."

     

  • Top Chef Shirley Chung launches her exciting restaurant today in Irvine, California!

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 10, 2014

    Chef Shirley Chung's

    TWENTY EIGHT Modern Chinese Cuisine

    Lounge and Restaurant

    19530 JAMBOREE ROAD, IRVINE, CA 

    http://TwentyEightOC.com

    Congratulations to Top Chef Shirley Chung! Today marks the launch of new, exciting cuisine in Orange County, California with the grand opening of her highly anticipated restaurant TWENTY EIGHT: Modern Chinese Cuisine.

    Trained in classic French and Italian cuisine and born and raised in Beijing, China, Chef Shirley Chung's extraordinary style of cooking "without borders" can now be showcased at her very own restaurant located in Irvine, California.

    The beautiful restaurant occupies the ground floor of a complex adjacent to Orange County's Google headquarters, and is nearby to the University of California Irvine and Newport Beach.

    Chef Chung has been featured on BravoTV's TOP CHEF show and has worked and opened restaurants for Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali, and was also the Executive Chef for China Poblano by Jose Andres which was nominated for the Best New Restaurant Award by James Beard in 2011. 

     

    RELATED:

    Official website TWENTY EIGHT Restaurant: http://twentyeightoc.com

    Top Chef Shirley Chung on Bravo Network

    https://www.facebook.com/twentyeightoc

    http://annewatsonphoto.com/events/top-chef-shirley-chungs-twenty-eight-modern-chinese-cuisine-menu-preview-pop-up-at-playground-2-0-in-santa-ana

     

     

     

     

  • Win a $2,500 Scholarship from AAJA-LA.org!

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    Deadline extended to Jan. 20, 2015 for AAJA-LA Scholarships 

     

    The Los Angeles Chapter has extended the application deadline for its annual scholarship competition to Jan. 20, 2015.

    We will award several scholarships of $2,500 each to full-time college students in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

    If you are a student, we hope you will take part. We are here to support your studies and career advancement.

    If you are not a student but know of one, please forward this information. We are grateful for your help in getting out the word.

    December 10, 2014   WIN A SCHOLARSHIP FROM AAJA-LA.ORG!     The Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association is pleased to announce the opening of its annual scholarship competition.   The chapter will award several scholarships of $2,500 each to full-time college students in the Greater Los Angeles Area.    If you are a student, we hope you will take part. We are here to support your studies and career advancement.   If you are not a student but know of one, please forward this information. We are grateful for your help in getting out the word.  

    Learn more: http://aaja-la.org/2014/11/aaja-la-announces-scholarship-competition/

    Background

    From its inception in 1981 as our organization’s founding chapter, AAJA-LA has been committed to supporting the next generation of journalists. Through the years, the chapter has made the scholarship program the centerpiece of its fundraising efforts.

    The program also serves as a way to connect our past and future. In addition to several general awards, the chapter gives two scholarships in memory of early members of our chapter: the Sam Chu Lin Memorial Scholarship, given to a promising broadcast student, and the Peter Imamura Memorial Scholarship, with preference given to a student who is from the Inland Empire or who demonstrates special financial need.

    Eligibility

    Students who are committed to AAJA’s mission and demonstrate a...

  • Chol Soo Lee Sparked Early Pan-Asian American Movement (1952-2014)

    Posted by: AC Team

    CHOL SOO LEE 1952-2014

    Korean American immigrant's struggle for justice sparked an early pan-Asian American Movement

    Koream Journal, News Report, by Julie Ha Posted: Dec 04, 2014

     

    Distributed by New America Media

     

    By Julie Ha, Koream Journal

    Chol Soo Lee, a Korean American whose wrongful conviction in a 1973 San Francisco murder case galvanized a historic pan-Asian American movement to win his freedom, died Tuesday at age 62.

     He passed away after complications related to surgery, according to friends. (Photo LtoR: Chol Soo Lee with journalist K.W. Lee, at press conference date unknown) Lee, an immigrant from South Korea who came to the U.S. around middle-school age, was arrested by San Francisco police in June 1973 for the murder of Yip Yee Tak, a local Chinatown gang leader, who was shot dead in broad daylight.

     Though Lee was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison a year later, he maintained his innocence. Thanks to a group of Asian American supporters, who rallied to his side, a Korean American journalist by the name of K.W. Lee (no relation to Chol Soo Lee) began investigating the case. Lee, then a staff writer for the Sacramento Union, would write more than 100 articles that raised questions about Chol Soo Lee’s conviction. Chol Soo was much shorter than eyewitness descriptions of the gunman and had a mustache that not a single witness mentioned to police. Notably, Lee was often identified as Chinese during his trial.

     

    For more on the this story by Julie Ha, Koream Journal:

    http://iamkoream.com/chol-soo-lee-who-sparked-early-pan-asian-american-movement-dies-at-62/

    Related:

    AngryAsianMan.com 

  • Leroy Chiao former NASA Astronaut: Philae's comet landing is "Amazing"

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

     

    November 13, 2014

    Philae's historic comet landing today is 'amazing' says former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao. Read his commentary at CNN.com

    Chiao was Commander of the International Space Station during ISS Expedition 10 where he lived on board from October 13, 2004 to April 23, 2005. During his 15 years at NASA, he flew four space missions, performed six spacewalks and has logged nearly 230 days in space.

    In 2004 and 2005, Chiao communicated from space to editor Lia Chang to post here at AsianConnections. Today, Chiao is busy working in space technology research and ventures, and is a popular motivational speaker and educator.   

    RELATED:

    In 2004 and 2005 Astronaut Leroy Chiao transmitted blog posts and Q&A with editor Lia Chang for AsianConnections. Most of the communication was conducted beginning with the Expedition 10 mission pre-launch period and continued to transmit from space beginning in October, 2004 while he was Commander of the International Space Station for six and a half months.

    Chiao and his crew conducted numerous scientific experiments on board the International Space Station, including researching new AIDS vaccines, and conducting physiological experiments to measure how well humans can adapt to zero gravity.  

    Blog highlights from the International Space Station Mission:

    October 14, 2004 Leroy Chiao - 1st Asian American Commander of the International Space Station

    December 10, 2004 Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog

    Leroy Chiao's official website http://leroychiao.com

     

     

     

     

  • October is Filipino American History Month - Oct-Nov Screenings for THE DELANO MANONGS

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    October 21, 2014

    Updates:

    New U.S. Screenings for the groundbreaking documentary directed by Marissa Aroy.

    For news go to the official website at www.delanomanongs.com

    THE DELANO MANONGS

    Forgotten Heroes of the United Farmworkers Movement

    Tuesday October 21st, 2014 - Irvine, CA University of California at Irvine Cross-Cultural Center presents the screening as part of the contemporary social issues series.  Co-sponsored by Kababayan at UCI,  Student Life & Leadership, Student Affairs.  A discussion with director, Marissa Aroy and Mayor of Cerritos Mark E. Pulido follows. 7PM  Dr. White Room, UCI Cross-Cultural Center, 106 Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697.   ======================================================================= Thursday October 23rd, 2014 - San Marcos, CA Cal State University, San Marcos Multicultural Programs, Student Life & Leadership along with SLL Cross-Cultural Center, CSUSM Library, and Kamaylayan Alliance will hold a screening with director Marissa Aroy in attendance. 6:00 PM-8:00 PM University Student Union 2310-AB, Cal State University, San Marcos, 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078. ======================================================================== Thursday October 23rd, 2014 - Honolulu, HI 

    University of Hawaii, Manoa Office of Multicultural Student Services, Hawaii Center for Food Safety, Decolornial Pina@ys, UH Food+, Friends of Operation Manong, UHM Center for Philippine Studies and UHM Departments of Ethnic Studies and American Studies sponsor a screening of The Delano Manongs in an event titled “Growing Solidarity: Food Sovereignty, Farmworkers, and Organizing”  Featuring food, films and discussion.

    5:30-8:00PM Shidler Bus Ad D106 (corner of Maile Way & University Ave) call 956-7348 for more information http://www.hawaii.edu/calendar/manoa/2014/10/23/25014.html?et_id=33009  =============================================================================== Friday October 24th, 2014 -...

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