Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | pop culture
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UPDATES BELOW, INCLUDING OTHER REACTIONS, MORE LINSANITY, FUNNY STUFF, JIN RAPPING ON LIN, AND JASON WHITLOCK AND FLOYD MAYWEATHER'S TWEETS Asian Americans have slowly become visible in American professional sports -- player by player, sport by sport. Some sports were conquered early. Most people know stars from the ice skating world such as Kristi Yamaguchi, Apolo Ohno or Michelle Kwan --...

(NOTE: Updates posted at bottom, including more parodies as they're posted and more crazy stuff from Pete Hoekstra as he says them). This ad was shown during the Super Bowl, but only in Michigan, where former Republican Congressman Pete Hoekstra is running to unseat Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. The 30-second spot shows a pretty young Asian woman in what looks like...

Denver fans of cutting-edge Japanese manga and anime can immerse themselves this week in the alternate steampunk European world of "Fullmetal Alchemy," a popular series of comic and animated TV series and feature films that have captivated audiences on both sides of the Pacific since 2001, when the series launched in Japan as a serial comic. The latest output of...

The glow of Tebow-mania will fade as the Broncos head into the off-season, but the quarterback's remarkable run with the team put the spotlight light on Denver's Filipino community before the season's end. Tebow has a deep connection to the Philippines: he was born there to missionary parents, and he funds healthcare organizations there with his Tebow Foundation. NBC Sports ran...

NOTE: UPDATE BELOW, ON DEC. 16 Lowe's this week backed out as an advertiser on the TLC network's superior reality TV show, "All-American Muslim," which follows the lives of five Muslim American families in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that's home to the largest Mulsim population in the U.S. I visited Dearborn when I attended the 2011 convention in Detroit of...

Colorado Okinawa Kenjinkai at CDBF 2011It struck me towards the end of the first day of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival that the clash of cultures I had just witnessed perfectly encapsulates why I’ve been a volunteer for this event since it was started in 2001. (Full disclosure: Last year, my partner Erin Yoshimura took on the role as executive director of the festival, after volunteering from the beginning. I help out with media, the website and emceeing on the main stage.) As the first day of the two-day event came to a close, the main stage lineup included a sampling of performers from the festival’s very popular Cultural Unity stage, a showcase of Colorado’s diverse hip-hop community. The hip-hop sampler was fantastic – and showed why their stage is always so jammed that you can barely see through the crowds surrounding the tent, especially when the dancers are spinning on the ground. The elevated main stage offered an eye-popping view for the audience, most of whom hadn’t gone by the Cultural Unity area before. The performance was a 20-minute introduction to the artistic principles and driving aesthetics of hip-hop culture, starting with naked rhythm from a conga drum, then showing the evolution of the rhythm into the DJ’s scratching with turntables and vinyl records. Then the B-boys and B-girls assembled around the stage in a half-circle took turns strutting their stuff to the rhythmic riffing, spinning, flipping and contorting their bodies into unbelievably elastic poses and leaving the audience agog. The set emphasized the multicultural appeal of hip-hop and pointed out how the performers on stage with him ran the ethnic gamut: Asian, Caucasian, African American, Latino. Following the Cultural Unity sampler, which drew a huge crowd to the stage, most of the audience stayed for the Colorado Okinawa Kenjinkai, a group of women from Okinawa who preserve the traditional dances of Okinawa, a culture that’s distinct from Japan.

Many thanks to FOX 31 weekend anchor Deborah Takahara and reporter Chris Jose, as well as the FOX 31 crew and Dragonboat Race Association of Colorado (DRACO) members who manned the dragon boat for this shoot on a hot summer day! My wife Erin is the executive director for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. We volunteered for the first seven years...