Gil Asakawa

Gil Asakawa escribe sobre la cultura pop y la política en su blog desde una perspectiva asiático-americana y japonés-americana, www.nikkeiview.com. Él y su pareja también cofundaron www.visualizAsian.com, en donde realizan entrevistas en vivo con asiático-americanos e isleños del Pacífico notables. Es el autor de Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press, 2004) y fue presidente de la junta editorial del Pacific Citizen por siete años como miembro de la junta nacional JACL.

Última actualización en noviembre de 2009

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Nikkei View

Interpreting Lost in Translation 20 years later

I get it. I understand. Traveling to someplace you’ve never been, where the culture and language is foreign to you, can be challenging. I know lots of Americans–including some Japanese Americans–who’ve either been hesitant to go to Japan, or who’ve gone and struggled to adjust to the oddly familiar, yet unfamiliar, sights, sounds, tastes and culture. It can be discombobulating. That’s the opening premise of a movie that was released 20 years ago: Lost in Translation. The film was written and directed by Sofia Coppola, and it was well-received critically…

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A New Take on Madama Butterfly Updates Puccini’s Opera for Modern Times

Even if you haven’t seen the opera, most people know the title Madama Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini’s famous work which debuted in 1904. More people today are probably familiar with Miss Saigon, the gaudy but popular Broadway musical based on Butterfly that takes the same plotline as Butterfly—American soldier stationed in Asia falls in love with a local woman, and returns to the States, not realizing she’s pregnant—and places the story during the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Butterfly is undeniably part of the operatic canon just as Miss Saigon i…

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Nikkei View

On “Authenticity” in Japanese food

Maybe not surprisingly, I’ve been a stickler for “authenticity” in food—especially Japanese food. I was born in Japan, and I’ve loved Japanese food all my life. I even wrote a book about the history of Japanese food in America, Tabemasho! Let’s Eat! I’m a foodie who takes #foodporn shots of many of my meals. I love all cuisines and seek out new dishes to try. And I try to make sure that the food I like reflects traditional culture, accurately and with respect. That doesn’t mean that I won’t eat “fusion” food—in our moder…

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Eating Together Again for the Holidays

It’s been a long, sometimes lonely three years since COVID-19 arrived in the world and changed all our lives. For many of us, this holiday season may be the first since the pandemic shutdowns when we’ll be traveling to visit family once again, and dining with them. (Of course, we didn’t know a historic deep freeze would disrupt nationwide travel over the Christmas weekend….) If we’re lucky, we live not far from our parents and grandparents, and have been able to drive over for Sunday dinners or pick up takeout to enjoy with them this whole time. But if we live …

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Learning about Asian Americans through Pop Culture

Pop culture can be a mirror that reflects the issues and values of its time—for good and bad. For instance, Hollywood initially embraced Asians, and two of the early film era’s biggest stars were Los Angeles-born Chinese American Anna May Wong and Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa. Anna May Wong is now featured on a quarter; Sessue Hayakawa is probably best remembered today for The Bridge over the River Kwai. But as the 20th century progressed, Hollywood began casting white actors with eyes taped back and “yellowface” makeup on their faces to play Asian r…

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