Tokyo Sonata

This past semester, the Cine-East series featured Tokyo Sonata. It is directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi, whose usual fare tends more towards J-horror (Pulse, for example). I had the opportunity to see this at the New York Film Festival last year, and it was definitely a treat. Since we haven’t really talked about films here yet, I figured I’d share my thoughts on it. (This was written in the fall of 2008, so please excuse any chronological inconsistencies. Also, as always, please beware of spoilers.)
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Not strictly Asian, but…

I don’t know how many of you watch Glee. It’s an interesting show, filled with a hilarious (but odd) mixture of bizarre situational comedy, a great soundtrack, and a very talented line up. Despite the more frustrating elements in the plot (i. e. the fake baby drama), the show has nevertheless always been an entertaining hour of fun and excellent music.

This past Tuesday, the new episode “Home” featured a storyline in which Finn discovers that his mother and Kurt’s father have been dating and that Kurt set them up. Long story short, there are serious daddy issues all around; but in the end, Finn sits down with Burt Hummel to bond over sports. Namely, basketball.

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Taiwanese Boy awes with rendition of Whitney Houston song

Move over, Boyle. There’s a new talent that has people talking.

Taiwanese boy Lin Yu-Chun has sent waves of shock across the internet for nailing Whitney Houston’s famous song “I Will Always Love You”. His perfect rendition of this vocally challenging piece was jaw dropping–managing to hit every single high note and  hold even the longest note.

Don’t let his bowl-cut and chubby cheeks deceive you though, this singer is hardly a little boy at the age of twenty-four! We only hope to see more stunning performances from this rising star. On behalf of all Asians half-amused/half-mortified by William Hung’s embarrassing performances back in 2004, we must say we’re more than relieved to see Lin take the stage.

What’s your take on Lin’s performance? Are you proud to see such talent displayed? Or do you find yourself cringing at his high voice and choice of song? Is this effeminate, prepubescent-like way of singing Bieber inspired?

Census Awareness Still Lagging… What Can You Do?!

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) recently reported continued concerns with census outreach to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

While issues ranging from insufficient staffing at Census Bureau locations to difficulty obtaining in-language materials have plagued census outreach efforts, AALDEF attributes many of the problems to a general misinformation and misunderstanding about the Census and the various policies that it informs. Even more problematic, many groups remain unaware of community-based census programs, such as the Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC) and Be Counted sites, convenient locations with Census Bureau staff to assist with census completion.

Today, April 1, 2010 is Census Day!
Do you know how you are being counted?!

If not, there is still time to act!
Visit to find out what you can do!

Please pass this message along to your friends and family. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

You can read the full AALDEF release here.


Come one, come all! Duke Chinese Dance Troupe’s annual showcase, Elements will be happening at Page Auditorium at 7 PM this Saturday. This is the fourth year they’ve done one, so please come out to support them. The group will be tabling on the BC Plaza tomorrow from 11 AM to 3 PM. Tickets are free, so come grab one before they’re all gone!

Tis the season

The NCAA basketball tournament is beginning tomorrow. March madness is upon us.

As a Duke student, I take these next few weeks very seriously. Even before I became a student at basketball-powerhouse-Duke, my family and I had always followed basketball. Because my father was (and is) a little bit of a basketball junkie, I grew up with SportsCenter in the background on Saturday mornings instead of cartoons. During high school and college, I watched all the important NBA games on TV, and the occasional NJ nets game at Continental Airlines Arena. My father and I have always loved basketball — playing it, watch it, talking about it — but we were very aware of the infinitesimal presence of Asian players in both college and pro basketball. Thus, like many other Asians and Asian Americans, we were delighted to hear that Yao Ming was the first overall pick of the 2002 draft.

Yao Ming is known for his aggressive dunk

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Asians and figure skating

If you’ve been bitten by the Winter Olympic bug, then you know what I’m talking about. The past few days, thousands of eyes have been riveted to the screen, eager to see who would win the gold in figure skating.

Among the top figure skaters are two friendly rivals: Kim Yuna of South Korea and Mao Asada of Japan.

Yu-Na Kim, figure skating gold medalist

Yuna, of course, attracted the world’s attention since she was rumored to be a shoo in for first place. She did not disappoint. Making perfect turn after turn while maintaining an elegant balance, she swirled her way around the ice and into the judge’s hearts. She ended up scoring a world record for points to win the women’s figure skating gold medal.

Though Asada had a fairly successful night, mastering her triple axel, she still was unable to compare to Yuna.

Yuna stunned the world with her graceful swoons. The way she balances athlete and artist is as perfected as the way she balances herself on the ice.

Seeing her on ice reminded us of Michelle Kwon back in her golden years. Which makes one start to wonder, what is it with Asians and figure skating? What do you think YP readers? Does figure skating hold potential as the Asian-predominated sport?