KCET: How senior fashion is turning heads in San Francisco’s Chinatown

You Tian Wu 82, about his fashion philosophy: “When you’re young you don’t have to care about fashion. But when you’re old, you have to.”

(Photo: Andria Lo/Chinatown Pretty)

Gaijin Tips: “Eat all your rice in Japan”

Check out this Gaijin Tip from video/blogger kanadajin3, who is actually named Mira and is “a girl who moved from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan.”

Eat all your rice in Japan. Leaving food behind is rude esp if it is rice bits. When you scrape food off your rice cooker, you need to take everything, leaving little bits is ruder than leaving a lot. If you just can’t finish your food that you got at a restaurant then you can leave some behind, but try to finish everything at home and at your friends house.

http://www.facebook.com/kanadajin3
http://www.twitter.com/kanadajin3
http://kanadajin3.blogspot.jp/
http://instagram.com/kanadajin3

Think your week was hard? Tokyo salary man’s insane work diary goes viral

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QUARTZ/Global Voices (by Nevin Thompson): 

A recent video uploaded by prolific YouTube vlogger Stu in Tokyo has gone viral, so far reaching more than half a million views.

 The topic of video? A week in the life of a Tokyosalary man,” the common name in Japan for a salaried office worker.

Stu works for a British financial services company in Tokyo, he explains in the video. Typically the months of January, February and March are “crunch time,” requiring long hours. 

So, Stu decided to keep a video diary of just how much he works each day, and what he actually has time to do after he gets off work. It doesn’t turn out to be much of anything at all.

But that’s okay, says Stu. “There are definitely people in Tokyo who do this all year round in order to support their families. I couldn’t imagine having to do this if I had those kinds of responsibilities as well.”

There are signs this cornerstone of Japanese working corner is in the process of changing. Although current Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has floated the idea of eliminating regulations that limit daily working hours entirely, the government has in fact introduced plans to require Japanese salaried workers to take five days of paid vacation every year.

Until now, while many Japanese salaried employees receive paid vacation time as part of their compensation package, very few workers actually make use of it. Due to workplace culture, Japanese workers are reluctant to book vacation time on their own, leaving coworkers behind to pick up the slack. Instead, if Japanese workers do take a day off, they typically take one during one of Japan’s national holidays.

Japan currently has 16 nationally legislated holidays, the most of any G20 country (the UK has only 8 national holiday, and the US 10). The abundance of national holidays in Japan may compensate for long working hours and peer pressure that frowns on taking a day off for personal reasons.

However, when everyone in a nation of 126 million people goes on vacation at the same time on a national holiday, the result can be clogged rail lines, monster traffic jams, and long lines at airports. 

The new vacation labor regulations are an attempt at addressing this problem. There is also the hope that mandatory paid leave, combined with the large number of national holidays will spur tourism and in turn encourage consumer demand, stimulating Japan’s sluggish economy.

Who’s the Angriest Asian? Trademark feud leaves community torn

NBC:

A legal dispute has emerged between two of Asian America‘s leading blogging figures, one that has confused and saddened portions of the Asian-American community, and has highlighted the growing clout and economic interests such properties wield in the digital age.

Lela Lee created the “Angry Little Asian Girlcomic strip in the early days of the Asian-American blogging scene, tapping into a nascent emotional tone that resonated amongst Asian-American activists and artists across the internet. Lee claims that Phil Yu, the man behind the popular Angry Asian Man blog, has encroached on her intellectual property with his expanding media efforts and the monetization of his blog.

While the legal wrangling continues, the impact on the Asian-American media scene has been immediate. On her blog, writer Jenn Fang crafted a lengthy analysis of the case Lee has against Yu, ending with a somber note. “What saddens me,” she wrote, “is that two titans of Asian America have come to blows over who has exclusive rights to call themselves an ‘Angry Asian.‘”

Culture critic Jeff Yang (and father of Hudson Yang, star of the ABC hit show “Fresh off the Boat“) took to Medium to express his concern about how the dispute might affect strides made by Asian Americans in media, calling the disagreement, “deeply damaging…to the larger, deeply interconnected community to which we belong.

The dispute is ongoing, and blog posts previously posted by both sides have been deleted as negotiations continue.

Adrianne Ho’s Instagram pictures gets warped by artist Ryder Ripps

New York-based painter Ryder Ripps takes a jab at the curation of self- and public perception with his latest exhibition, Ho, on display at Postmasters Gallery in TriBeCa. As the name might infer, Ripps’ most recent works consider internet model and creative Adrianne Ho‘s Instagram profile, which the artist asserts is a particular case of created or ‘warped’ identity.

Accordingly, Ripps deconstructs and morphs images of the publicly doted model, who is notably supported by brands like Nike and Supreme for her subtle form of ‘lifestyle’ advertising. VICE caught up with Ripps in a new interview, which can be read in its entirety here.

Enjoy a key excerpt below and head to Postmasters if in the New York City area.

Adrianne Ho's Instagram Pictures Gets Warped by Artist Ryder Ripps

So Adrianne Ho, she triggered this idea for you?
Yes, she’s like the quintessence of corny-core. There are lots of other examples of people who represent this idea, but nothing as consistent as Adrianne Ho. She’s a very succinct and focused example of this one particular mode of creation of self-representation online.

Also, I like her connections to streetwear, and I like the idea that she’s mediating herself and her identity, who she really is—Adrianne Ho, that’s her name, it’s not fake—and is willing to bend herself around brands. What’s interesting to me about that is the aspect of how we can alter or create realism for other people—curate personas.

If you asked me to sponsor your brand and be real, it would be really interesting to see how I’d do that. My own idea of who I am and how to achieve realness as a paid gig is the most honest thing, because the actual branded thing would ultimately be a lie, an imagination. It’s a constructed farce of reality. And it’s also a projected farce because it’s how you perceive a client would want you to be. It’s your imagined self for another person. It’s when you put your own head in someone else’s head and then think about yourself.

Get to Know Dis/orient/ed Comedy’s Jenny Yang

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Audrey Magazine:

The first time Jenny Yang performed a standup routine at an open mic, it felt like time had come to a standstill. Her set at the Tuesday Night Café in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo lasted only about four minutes. “But it felt like forever,” says Yang, laughing. “I almost barfed, but I didn’t.”

Instead, she became physically ill afterwards, for about a month. “I got sick because I’d worked myself up into such a frenzy,” Yang says. “But part of me also knew that pursuing something so scary, so challenging, meant that I could really grow from it.”

Fast forward to 2014, five years from that fateful night Yang first stepped up to that microphone. And over that time, the Taiwan-born, California-raised writer and comic has been winning over audiences in clubs and college campuses across the country with her socially conscious humor and exuberant style of delivery. Her material infuses new life into territories often tread by comics of color — the lack of diversity in mainstream media, the pitfalls of dating outside of your race — with a refreshing mix of well-placed sarcasm and self-deprecating candor. Her writing and commentary has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC News, Bitch Magazine, Colorlines and others. Last summer, a Buzzfeed video she starred in and helped to write, “If Asians Said the Stuff White People Say,” hit viral status, with over 6.7 million views to date.

But she realizes she still has much more to learn in her chosen field. “I’m still considered a newbie,” Yang demurs. “People say that between seven to 10 years is when you get to a point when you’re better.” She admits, however, that she feels much more confident on stage these days. When asked if she’s ever “bombed,” Yang pauses a few seconds to think, then answers matter-of-factly: “When you start doing standup, you get used to varying degrees of jokes working or not working. It’s a lot more gray than just, oh my god, I was going to kill myself out there.”

In person, Yang is friendly and warm, and indeed, she’s funny — though not in the set-up and punch line manner of her stage act, nor with the unbridled silliness conveyed in 140 characters or less on Twitter. (An example: “At the market, read ‘Organic’ vegetables sign as ‘Orgasmic.’ Calling therapist now.”) Perhaps because she sometimes tweets in shouted all-caps and easily embraces the abbreviated shorthand of the Internet generation, I expected to meet someone more cavalier, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal. Rather, Yang seems to give serious thought to every answer, at times interrupting herself to clarify a point.

There are moments she borders on pensive, such as when discussing her opinions on where Asian Americans fit within the racial and social structures of the U.S. “We’re still very black and white in America,” she says. “Even considering the Latino community is a start. In some ways, the public discourse has recognized Latinos, like, ‘Look at them, they’ve emerged!’” Yang rolls her eyes. “Well, actually, they’ve always been here.”

As for Asian Americans, she believes that “mainstream media is still very undereducated on how to talk about us in a way that honors the community, as people worthy of respect.”

She mentions Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese American NBA star, whose image was juxtaposed with a fortune cookie by the press during the height of the Linsanity blitz two years ago. “Who does that?” she asks, exasperated. “How would anyone think that would be OK?” She adds, “Because he’s Asian, they play up stereotypes. To me, that’s just where we’re at, sadly.”

Yang says that she grapples daily with the myriad ways that her Asian American identity intersects with other facets of her life, and she hopes to translate her observations into jokes that will make people laugh, all the while creating a more nuanced dialogue on race, gender and politics. “That’s really important to me,” she says. “Because I’m on a public platform, how do I explain myself and the people I care about?”

One such means is her involvement with the blog I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, an online safe space where women share powerful and heartbreaking stories of harassment and sexual assault, in the form of letters written to a younger sister. Yang contributed a post that poignantly detailed a childhood experience with an older white boy who sexually bullied her, and the injury further compounded when Yang’s own mother readily dismissed the abuse.

In the time since she began pursuing an entertainment career, Yang has come to the definitive conclusion that “we need more Asian American artists.”

In this spirit, Yang founded Dis/orient/ed Comedy, a standup tour that features an all-Asian American, predominantly female cast. The show premiered at the David Henry Hwang Theater, the 240-seat space that is also a part of the Union Center of the Arts, along with the courtyard where Yang first took up the mic at the Tuesday Night Cafe years ago. Dis/orient/ed Comedy is actively touring the country now, with at least one show a month.

She’s also running a monthly story-telling project called Family Reunion, launched this past August at Echoes Under Sunset, in L.A.’s Echo Park neighborhood. At a recent show, attendees were treated to a surprise appearance by legendary comic Margaret Cho, whom Yang calls her “comedy fairy godmother.” The series takes place on the last Thursday of each month. Yang promises that future Family Reunions will feature cameos by seasoned performers like Cho, while retaining a commitment to showcasing emerging acts.

Asian Americans are complicated,” says Yang. “We need more artists and writers, more people to tell our stories.”

She grins and adds, “We have enough East Asian ophthalmologists.” Then she bursts into laughter.

Visit jennyyang.tv for Dis/orient/ed Comedy tour dates.

–STORY BY JEAN HO
Photo by Daren Mooko
This story was originally published in Audrey Magazine’s Winter 2014-15 issue. Get your copy here.