Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Gil Asakawa
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Seabrook's bon odori danceWow, it feels weird, but I've finally written a new Nikkeiview column, the first in a year and a half. I've just been too busy (I know, it's a lame excuse), but by writing these Nikkei Blog posts, I've been inspired to finally sit down and write a longer column. It helps that I went last weekend to southern New Jersey with a JA group to Seabrook's annual Bon Odori dance. Read the column here, and let me know what you think.

Here's a story published June 20 from the Toledo Blade in Ohio about a Tower 98.3 DJ "apologizing" for an on-air stunt that sparked protests from Asian Americans. Lucas, a night-time DJ, made a series of mocking calls to Asian-owned businesses while on the air, including a Japanese restaurant where he reportedly told the person at the restaurant, who had an accent, “me love you long time,” “ching, chong chung,” and “Me speakee no English.” He also called a Chinese Restaurant in May, and when the person on the other end spoke perfect English, made comments on the air that a white person must be working in the restaurant.

Ask a NinjaIs it just me? I really think "Ask a Ninja," a free video podcast that consistently ranks among the top-5 popular video podcasts on Apple's super-influential iTunes store, is dumb. Really dumb.

The humidity here isn't merely a statistical aspect of the weather, like the temperature and the times of the sunrise and sunset. It's different from the forecast, which is about the future and therefore, abstract.

The Pipettes. It had to happen - the cyclical nature of pop music demanded that eventually, the girl group sound of the early '60s would become hip again. That's exactly what might happen with the release next week of the Pipettes' first full album in the UK. The British group, fronted by a trio of women wearing polka-dots and singing shrill harmonies to bouncy punk-pop that's rooted in the simple romance but shot through with new millennium irony and cheek, has released a handful of singles to date (well, three, at least).

Here's the best description I've read yet about the "Jack FM" format -- a hodgepodge of album oriented and hit songs from the past two, maybe three decades played up in no particular order. The stations that feature the format (Denver's Jack 105.5 FM was the first station in the U.S. to adopt the format, which was birthed in Canada) typically use taglines that state something like, "Music we like," or "Playing what we want."

Sudoku on the WebOK, I can't stand it anymore. I'm not much of a puzzle person -- crosswords can't catch my attention, and jigsaws don't call out to me. I'm not much of a numbers person either -- hence, I work with words (journalism), not numbers (engineering). So, Sudoku hasn't exactly lit me on fire even though it's apparently the hottest thing in the puzzles and games world. I see Sudoku everywhere, from supermarket magazine racks to fancy bookstores, and electronic games to lots and lots of sites on the Web.

Yellowface afootI know, I know, I'm painting all of the radio industry with an awful broad brush. But let's face it, no one's doing this kind of stuff on TV. A year and a half ago, I wrote my (embarrassingly, most recent) Nikkei View column about Hot 97, a station in NYC, which broadcast a tasteless and racist satire making fun of dead Asians after the tsunami. But similar incidents continue, even up to this month.