An axis for artistic and creative-types of the Asian persuasian… Redefining Otaku Culture.

President Obama signs bill eliminating ‘Oriental’ from Federal Law

U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday that modernizes the terms used for minorities.

NBC News (by Stephany Bai):

President Barack Obama has signed a bill eliminating all known uses of the term “oriental” from federal law.

The bill, which was sponsored by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), was passed by the House of Representatives unanimously on Feb. 29 and again by the Senate on May 9. It was co-sponsored by 76 members of Congress, including all 51 members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said in a statement that she was “proud to have seen this effort through.”

After months of advocacy in both chambers of Congress, derogatory terms in federal law will finally be updated to reflect our country’s diversity,” she said. “Mahalo to President Obama for his quick action.

Oriental” had still existed in Title 42 of the U.S. Code, which was written in the 1970s. It will be replaced with “Asian Americans.”

In a statement, Congresswoman Meng expressed relief that “at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good.”

Many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory,” she said. “But it is an insulting term that needed to be removed from the books, and I am extremely pleased that my legislation to do that is now the law of the land.

Former migrant worker Xiao Jiguo becomes famous in China for looking like Barack Obama

jiguoNext Shark (by Riley Schatzle): 

Xiao Jiguo is a 29-year-old former migrant worker from Guangzhou, China, who now makes a living by exploiting the fact that he looks almost exactly like Barack Obama.

Over the last four years, Jiguo has committed to his doppleganger career by studying hundreds of videos of the United States president, memorizing his inauguration speech, shaping his eyebrows and even getting plastic surgery to enhance his Obama-like facial features.

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Jiguo told the Global Times:

“In order to imitate Obama, besides waxing [his] eyebrows, he only needs a shirt, a tie and a black suit to get by, anywhere.”

While Jiguo has always borne a striking resemblance to the U.S. President, it wasn’t until 2012 when he became famous for his ability to impersonate President Obama on the TV talent contest, ”Chinese Dream Show,” according to People’s Daily Online.

Jiguo’s new comedy series centering around his Obama impersonation, “Obama Goes on Dates,” started in May and has received positive feedback. Jiguo says he never wants to go back to being a waiter but rather wants to get to a point in his career where he can act and write his own music.

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White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, May 12th


Angry Asian Man: 

What are you doing on May 12? Save the date. The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders invites you the White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington DC. The Summit will feature panels, workshops, and armchair dialogues with senior Administration officials, AAPI celebrities, and well-known community leaders, plus performances by distinguished AAPI artists.

The Summit is part of a series of events happening May 11-15 during AAPI Heritage Month in Washington, and provides a unique forum to actively engage with hundreds of AAPI leaders from across the nation. Previous AAPI Heritage Month speakers have included President Obama at the 2013 White House Celebration and Vice President Biden at the 2014 Opening Ceremony.

Programming details are still coming together, but more information on the Summit will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, visit the Summit website or subscribe to the weekly White House AAPI email newsletter. For further questions, email whitehouseaapi@ed.gov.

Senate confirms Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General

Angry Asian Man:

Finally, we have a surgeon general. On Monday, the Senate voted to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as the new Surgeon General of the United States — more than a year after President Obama nominated him to the post.

The job has been open for a while. Dr. Murthy was nominated back in November 2013, but his confirmation was stalled by partisan opposition, fueled by the gun lobby, particularly over his views criticizing gun violence. But with Congress now in a lame-duck session, Dr. Murthy’s confirmation finally got the support it needed from more Democrats, with Monday’s vote tally coming in at 51-43.

At 37 years old, Dr. Murthy is the youngest-ever surgeon general in the United States. He is also the first Indian American to serve as America’s top doctor.

Here’s President Obama’s statement on Dr. Murthy’s confirmation:

I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General. As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong. Vivek will also help us build on the progress we’ve made combatting Ebola, both in our country and at its source. Combined with the crucial support for fighting Ebola included in the bill to fund our government next year, Vivek’s confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home.

Link

Dr. Jane Chu confirmed as chairwoman of National Endowment for the Arts

 

The NEA is the largest annual national supporter of the nonprofit arts in the United States. As chairwoman, Dr. Chu will oversee the federal funding of cultural organizations and programs that increase access to the arts.

She’s spent years enriching the culture and strengthening the business community in Kansas City,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to seeing her bring that same leadership to the national stage.”

Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said he “was impressed by her successful oversight of the more than $400 million Kauffman Center.”

She has degrees in visual arts, piano performance, piano pedagogy and business administration. She holds a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies. Earlier this year, Kansas City’s Nonprofit Connect named her Nonprofit Professional of the Year.

She is an outstanding leader who brings people together to get things done,” Julia Irene Kauffman, Kauffman Center board chairwoman, said in a statement.

When news of Chu’s nomination broke in February, she received full support from her Kansas City patrons. Her nomination drew no controversy and was approved by voice votes in a committee and the full Senate.

Established in 1965, the NEA works with various agencies — from local to national — to support arts education and innovation. Its annual budget is around $140 million. The annual salary for the NEA chair is $167,000, according to the agency’s office of public affairs.

Chu follows Rocco Landesman of St. Louis, who retired as NEA chairman in 2012.

 

Check out this link:

 

Dr. Jane Chu confirmed as chairwoman of National Endowment for the Arts

 

Before taking the helm at the Kauffman Center, Jane Chu was fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City, vice president of external relations for Union Station and vice president of community investment with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

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President Obama plays soccer with Japanese robot ASIMO

President Barack Obama briefly plays soccer with Honda‘s humanoid robot ASIMO during his recent trip to Japan.

ASIMO, which is an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, was designed as an assistant to those who lack full mobility and regularly appears in demonstrations around the world

Link

Obama begins Asia trip with ‘the best sushi I’ve ever had’

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took President Barack Obama to famed sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro for a private dinner on Wednesday night.

 

Anyone who imagines U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed territorial disputes with China or the U.S.’s “pivot to Asia” foreign policy during their private dinner in Tokyo on Wednesday likely isn’t familiar with the restaurant where the two leaders dined.

Ahead of a protocol-bound formal state visit that officially begins on Thursday, Abe took Obama to Sukiyabashi Jiro, the fabled restaurant in Tokyo’s fashionable Ginza district widely regarded as the best sushi restaurant in the world.

Diners approach Sukiyabashi Jiro with a sense of reverence.

The experience provided by head chef and proprietor Jiro Ono leaves little time for small talk, much less big talk.

The focus is on the fish.

Heralded as a Japanese national treasure, Ono, who turns 90 next year, is the first sushi chef in the world to receive three Michelin stars.

With hundreds of onlookers behind police barriers lining the streets near the restaurant, Obama and Abe, neither wearing neckties, shook hands and entered the basement restaurant. New U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, also attended the dinner, which lasted about an hour and a half.

Sukiyabashi Jiro, a tiny restaurant with a coveted three Michelin-star rating, has only ten seats and is run by its 89-year-old owner, Jiro.

Like those who have gone before him into this shrine of sushi, Obama did not leave disappointed.

President Obama told me that, ‘I was born in Hawaii and ate a lot of sushi, but this was the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life,'” Abe told Japan‘s NHK network after the meal.

Inside the restaurant, Abe poured sake for Obama at the sushi counter.

While Obama praised the sushi enthusiastically, some onlookers said he stopped eating halfway through the meal.

The owner of another restaurant that is located in the same subway station told Tokyo Broadcasting System that Obama had put his chopsticks down midway into the dinner.

He also said a sushi chef from Sukiyabashi Jiro said Obama did not make small talk, but was quite serious, jumping into a discussion on trade immediately.

Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, refused Thursday to cite exactly how much Obama ate, saying instead: “It’s true that he ate a good amount.”

 

Check out this link: 

Obama begins Asia trip with ‘the best sushi I’ve ever had’

"President Obama told me that, 'I was born in Hawaii and ate a lot of sushi, but this was the best sushi I've ever had in my life,'" Abe told Japan's NHK network after the meal.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Link

Tokyo Tower lights up beautifully in Star-Spangled Banner style for President Obama

 

RocketNews 24:

 

Tower Top

 

Yes, President Obama has arrived in Japan (and apparently already enjoyed the legendary sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro), and with all the buzz and tightened security accompanying his visit, it’s hard not to get a little excited. Well, it seems even one of the landmark symbols of Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower, is getting all dressed up to welcome Mr. Obama. For two nights only, the 333m (1093ft) tall tower will be illuminated in the red, white and blue colors of the American flag!

That’s right, in honor of the President’s visit, for the nights of April 22 and 23, Tokyo Tower will be lit up in bright Star-Spangled Banner colors from sundown (around 6:20pm) to midnight. Naturally, we wanted to get a look at the special red white and blue version of the tower, and take some pictures to share with you as well. We hurried off to the Tokyo City View Sky Deck in Roppongi, where we were able to take the pictures below:

 

The Sky Deck is an open observation area on the rooftop of the Mori Tower building, where you can enjoy and take pictures of the panoramic view in the open air from a height of 270m (885ft).

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It does cost 2,000yen (US$19.50) to get up on the Sky Deck (1,500 yen to get to the general observation deck on the 52nd floor and an extra 500 yen to go all the way up to the roof), but the view is absolutely breathtaking.
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We may have the new Tokyo Skytree, but Tokyo Tower is still a magnificent symbol of the capital city.
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We don’t know if President Obama will have a chance to see the specially illuminated tower, but we certainly hope he does, because it truly is a beautiful sight, and one that couldn’t hurt international relations between the U.S. and Japan. Kudos to the folks at Tokyo Tower for creating such a memorable and stylish tribute!

Source: Tokyo Tower official site via ITmedia (Japanese)

 

Check out this link:

Tokyo Tower lights up beautifully in Star-Spangled Banner style for President Obama

Link

Tokyo’s coin lockers to be out of service for week in effort to prevent terrorism during Obama’s visit

RocketNews 24:

 

Notices like the one above, which was posted on Twitter, have been popping up at major stations around Tokyo such as Shinjuku. It notifies commuters that coin lockers will be unusable from 19 to 25 April as a terrorism counter-measure.

How exactly does shutting down coin lockers prevent terrorism? The answer is quite simple… but a little confusing.

It’s no coincidence that the locker closures take place during the same time as US President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan. People were largely accepting of the move saying, “It’s an inconvenience but it can’t be helped.”

However, many were confused as to why President Obama would be taking public trains during his stay.

 

 

Of course it wasn’t all good-natured tolerance of the rule, many complained about the closure saying, “why is the president’s visit more important than my convenience?”

One commenter brought up a linguistic question: “If someone’s only targeting the president, is it really terrorism?”

I wonder if Barack Obama gets a tiny bit of satisfaction from being powerful enough to shut down coin lockers with his mere presence. It must be like how women all look away and pretend to do something whenever I come near, only better.

 

Check out this link:

Tokyo’s coin lockers to be out of service for week in effort to prevent terrorism during Obama’s visit

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Tessanne Chin (The Voice) and Taku Hirano (Team-Yellow founder) at the White House

Tessanne Chin (The Voice) and Taku Hirano (Team-Yellow founder) at the White House

Here’s a photo from last week’s White House concert “Women of Soul“, in which Tessanne Chin and Taku Hirano performed.

Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Tessanne Chin was the most recent winner of The Voice, and performed alongside Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Ariana Grande, Jill Scott, and Janelle Monáe. Taku Hirano, creator and founder of Team-Yellow was part of the house band backing all the artists.