Japanese sleep experts: We’ve been using our blankets all wrong when we sleep


Next Shark:

Whether you’re a lark or an owl, or even something else, a good night’s sleep is crucial to your health and well-being. And with the cold season upon us, it’s also important to stay relatively warm at night, lest you aggravate any existing conditions or symptoms that could impair your work or school performance.

With that in mind, sleeping experts at Nemuri Lab in Japan, as reported by RocketNews24, have come out to tell everyone that they’re using their blankets all wrong.

While most of us sleep with a lighter blanket or sheet on top of us and then a comforter layered on top, that’s not the most efficient way to keep warm, Nemuri Lab experts say.

Using the example of ducks or geese, whose only source of warmth is the body heat held in by their own their feathers, sleep experts advise using the comforter as the first layer in order to help keep in body heat, with the lighter covering going on top.

For the ultimate in warmth, however, the Nemuri Lab experts instruct would-be sleepers to first roll themselves up in their lighter blanket. As RocketNews24 puts it:

Spread the blanket out before you get into bed, and lie down on top of it to better retain the heat that would dissipate out of your back.

Top everything off with your comforter, and voila, you will be nice and toasty to start off your next big day.

Rizzoli releases the “Yamamoto & Yohji” Book

A Bathing Ape 2014 Fall/Winter Gold Face T-Shirt for Selfridges

BAPE‘s ape logo is one of the most widely recognizable graphics in streetwear. It was inspired by the original Planet of the Apes movies and has stuck with the brand since its inception in the early ’90s. The emblem has been printed as a caricature on numerous occasions, and has even spawned the miniature version, Baby Milo. Now, BAPE is bringing the classic design to the U.K. high end department store Selfridges. The exclusive tee features a metallic gold face ape across the chest.

The tee is available now at Selfridges while supplies last.

Asian American men on television: Why the cancellation of “Selfie” matters


 Audrey Magazine:

Selfie put together one of the most promising interracial couples on television in the past ten years so it’s easy to understand the general dismay over its quick cancellation. There was protest over the internet, petitions made and many articles about ABC’s decision to pull the new show. And there is reason for it: Selfie was just getting good.

The show had begun to grow out of the initial premise of “the internet sucks and this is why,” and instead became more about the on-screen leads’ friendship and ability to help each other develop. John Cho and Karen Gillan’s characters had occasional moments of intense on-screen chemistry and fun. Their relationship, at its core, was a friendship first.

When I was growing up, I was very much influenced by what I saw, and more importantly what I didn’t see on television.” said winner of reality TV show Survivor: Cook Islands, Yul Kwon. Whenever Kwon saw an Asian man on television, he was a kung-fu master who could kick ass but couldn’t speak English. Or a computer geek who could figure out algorithms, but who couldn’t get a date. As Kwon grew up, he began to realize that there were many more shades to an Asian American male than what was represented on television.




Seven years later, the video of this conference is still relevant. Sure, strides have definitely been made thanks to a range of Asian actors such as Steve Yeun and Danny Pudi. In fact, the conversation has extended itself to Asian American females in entertainment as well.

However, the de-sexualization of Asian men has not been cracked wide open as much as it has been separated. So far, Asian American males on television were either de-sexualized or pointedly given a loveline. Asian American actors still teeter on the edge of meeting the Western definition of a man, but we’re still missing a seat at the table of owning the agency to change that definition. As San Francisco Chronicle’s Jeff Yang says, “Coming from my own perspective…every time I hear people say ‘Oh you know, Asian American men shouldn’t be portrayed as geeky-looking and having glasses, and being nerdy and all this,’ I’m like, ‘You guys are, like, protesting in front of my mirror.’”




Which brings us back to Selfie. The goal right now is not what is the right kind of representation for Asian Americans, but instead, let’s try to represent as many Asian Americans as possible. John Cho’s character Henry was one that had seldom made it on-screen. Yes, he was a romantic lead, but sometimes he rhymed when he spoke. Sometimes he sold pharmaceuticals. Sometimes he was neat. He didn’t like Facebook, he had vulnerabilities and things to learn, and his role was fully inhabited by Cho. He had depth and intricacies beyond Hollywood’s cookie-cutter Asian American male.

The good news is that a character written like Henry made airtime and the show developed a solid fanbase. The so-so news? There is still progress to be made in sustaining characters once they developed. The de-sexualized, the international, the John Chos — there are still more Asian American characters waiting to be created and the cancellation of Selfie took a character who was not de-sexualized  and not “made only here for a loveline,” but instead something in the charming middle, and set it aside.


Angry Asians are suing Harvard for discrimination after getting rejected

harvard asians

Next Shark:

A lawsuit filed Monday accuses Harvard University of discrimination because of their alleged higher standards of admittance for Asian students. According to Fox News, the suit claims that Asian students weren’t admitted to Harvard despite having higher test scores and GPAs than other minority group students that were accepted.

Edward Blum, who runs the Project on Fair Representation, filed the suit on behalf of the rejected Asian students. He also filed a suit last year that went up to the Supreme Court against the University of Texas on behalf of a white applicant over its affirmative action admissions policy. That decision is still pending. Blum stands on point:

Quotas and racial balancing are strictly against the law.

Harvard’s general counsel defends the university with this statement:

The College considers each applicant through an individualized, holistic review having the goal of creating a vibrant academic community that exposes students to a wide-range of differences: background, ideas, experiences, talents and aspirations.

The University’s admissions processes remain fully compliant with all legal requirements and are essential to the pedagogical objectives that underlie Harvard’s educational mission.

There are good arguments for both sides.

For the students, no particular racial or ethnic group should be held to higher standards than any other group as a strategy of limiting the admittance of one group of people. Achieving an academic record worthy of an Ivy League isn’t an easy feat — for a young person to have worked so hard to attain that, only to be rejected from a university because of their racial makeup, seems highly unfair.

But Harvard has some pretty good reasons for adhering to their policy — it’s for the greater good. A world-class educational institution can’t provide a proper environment for learning if they compromise their diversity, which anyone can argue is a base requirement for growth of any kind. Harvard would simply cease to be Harvard if it was full of Asians, because according to the numbers, it would be.

Should Harvard stick to their policy of “balance,” or should discrimination be shot down and hardworking students be admitted regardless of race?

TAKAHIROMIYASHITA The SoloIst. (Japan) Rough Out Work Military Jacket

Designed as part of its upcoming 2014 fall/winter “#0010 LIVE” collection, this progressive jacket by TAKAHIROMIYASHITA The Sololst. combines semblances of military detailing such as the drawcord adjustable waist and ample pockets with a tongue-in-cheek reinterpretation of the parka, loosely rendered in sheepskin with rough asymmetrical patchwork construction.

With a detachable fur-trimmed hood, combination snap button and zipper fasten front placket, this deconstructed jacket is now available for $3415 USD over at HAVEN.

ASICS Gel Saga “Curry”

Image of ASICS Gel Saga "Curry"

ASICS has cooked up a new colorway for its Gel Saga model that takes cues from the much loved dish: curry. Be it from India, Japan or even the UK, curry is synonymous for its buttery yellow hue which has been spread throughout the suede upper and even the laces. You’ll also find notes of dark brown along the ASICS stripes, tongue and branding, while sitting on an all-white rubber midsole and black outsole.

Without an exact announced drop date yet, the shoes are set to release sometime in December, so be sure to keep an eye out then.

R.I.P. Ken Takakura

Ken Takakura Dead: Japanese Actor Was


Ken Takakura, who first rose to stardom in the 1960s playing yakuza outlaws, but later became Hollywood’s go-to actor for made-in-Japan films, died on Nov. 10 at age 83 of malignant lymphoma. A private funeral had already been held when the Japanese media broke the story today.

The legendary actor most recently starred in “Dearest” and Zhang Yimou’s “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.”

Western audiences best know Takakura for his roles in Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain” and 1992′s “Mr. Baseball.”

Born on Feb. 16, 1931, in Fukuoka, Japan, Takakura entered the Toei studio in 1955 after graduating from Meiji University. His breakout role was as an escaped prisoner in Teruo Ishii’s 1965 hit “Abashiri Prison,” which was loosely based on Stanley Kramer’s 1958 “The Defiant Ones.” The film spawned a long-running series, while Takakura churned out hit after hit for Toei in the remainder of the decade and beyond. Usually playing stoic loners who move into action only after repeated provocations, Takakura became an iconic figure for a generation of Japanese moviegoers, much as Clint Eastwood did in Hollywood.

Takakura played a version of this character in Sydney Pollack’s 1974 “The Yakuza,” with a script co-written by yakuza movie aficionado Leonard Schrader, together with Pollack and Robert Towne. By this time, however, Japanese moviegoers had tired of Takakura’s brand of gang actioner, whose good guys followed a code of yakuza chivalry routinely disregarded by the more realistic hoods of Kinji Fukasaku’s popular 1973 “Battles Without Honor and Humanity” and its sequels.

Even before leaving Toei in 1976 Takakura had begun moving away from his signature yakuza genre, playing a bankrupt-businessman-turned-extortionist in the 1975 Junya Sato thriller “The Bullet Train.” In the remainder of the 1970s and after he appeared in a succession of starring roles, including an ex-con journeying to reunite with his wife in Yoji Yamada’s 1977 hit “The Yellow Handkerchief.” Based on a story by Pete Hamill, the film was remade as a 2008 film of the same title by Udayan Prasad, with William Hurt starring in the Takakura role. Takakura also played a veteran dog handler in the 1983 Koreyoshi Kurahara smash “Antarctica,” which set a record as the highest-earning Japanese film of all-time that was only surpassed by Hayao Miyazaki’s animation “Princess Mononoke” in 1997. “Antarctica” was remade as the 2006 “Eight Below,” with Frank Marshall directing.

In 1989 Takakura appeared in “Black Rain” as a forbearing Japanese cop assigned to deal with Michael Douglas’s hot-tempered detective, who is after an escaped yakuza played by Yusaku Matsuda. He followed with a similar role as a pro baseball manager dealing with Tom Selleck’s spoiled former major leaguer in the 1992 Fred Schepisi comedy “Mr. Baseball.”

After the turn of the millennium, Takakura appeared only in a handful films, including 2005′s “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles” and his 205th and last film, Yasuo Furuhata’s 2012 “Dearest,” playing a retired prison counselor making a journey of remembrance to the port where his deceased wife was born.

From 1959 until their divorce in 1971 Takakura was married to singer Chiemi Eri, but they had no children.

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, running November 12-22

Angry Asian Man:
Film lovers of Philadelphia! I would be remiss if I did not help spread the word about this year’s edition of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, running November 12-22 at the International House of Philadelphia in University City and Asian Arts Initiative in Chinatown North. The 7th annual PAAFF includes 16 features, 5 free shorts programs and a host of new peripheral programming.

Here’s the festival trailer:


Here are some programming highlights:

A Leading Man
I-House, Wednesday, Nov 12th at 7PM

When a young and talented Chinese American actor is fired from his starring role on a television show, he attempts to salvage his career by sleeping with a successful casting director.

Family Ingredients
I-House, Thursday, Nov 13th at 6:30PM

Join host Chef Ed Kenny as he travels the path of ancestors, from Hawaii to the homeland in this TV pilot of an Emmy Award-winning food genealogy travel show that explores the links between ethnic heritage and culinary cuisine.

I-House, Thursday, Nov 13th at 8:30PM

When Elementary School administrator Jumpei Taneda finds out he is sterile, he is thrust into an existential crisis that turns his life upside down.

Awesome Asian Bad Guys
I-House, Friday, Nov 14th at 6:00PM

Bad guys are awesome, especially Asian ones! American movies in the 80s and 90s always had hard-hitting Asian bad guys in flicks like Die Hard, Bloodsport, and Karate Kid 2.

Uzumasa Limelight
I-House, Friday, Nov 14th at 7:30PM

The Uzumasa studio complex in Kyoto is widely regarded as the Hollywood of Japan, having produced many of the best jidigeki films (period dramas with sword fighting) beloved by Japanese and the rest of the world.

Eat with Me
I-House, Saturday, Nov 15th at 2:15PM

Tired of being invisible in a bland marriage, Emma moves in with her son Elliot in his loft in downtown LA. Elliot is a chef at a lackluster Chinese restaurant facing foreclosure. Also, he’s gay.

Farah Goes Bang
I-House, Saturday, Nov 15th at 6:30PM

During a cross-country road-trip campaigning for John Kerry in the 2004 Election, a Persian American woman in her twenties tries to lose her virginity.

I-House, Saturday, Nov 15th at 8:30PM

A determined young American woman named Audrey arrives in the Philippines with a mysterious mission, little money, and no chance of success.

Revenge of the Green Dragons
I-House, Saturday, Nov 15th at 10:30PM

When a gangland double cross threatens to ignite a war amongst the Asian American gangs of NYC, two friends must decide where their loyalties lie in this visually striking, high-octane thriller.

And there’s a lot more where that came from. Support independent Asian American film! For further information about the festival, including the full schedule of screening and events, tickets and venue details, head over to the PAAFF’14 website.