Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | hollywood
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All the recent controversy over “whitewashing,” Hollywood’s habit of casting white people in Asian roles, got me thinking about how Japan has been portrayed in films over the years. Because I was born in Japan, my earliest movie memories are chambara, or samurai (and especially ninja), movies that I watched in black and white on television. We didn't get to see many movies in theaters, but my mom used to take my brother and me to Disney features when they opened, riding the trains with us to the cinema. After we moved to the States, I treasured American films that were set in Japan. There haven’t been a whole lot but it’s interesting to see how Hollywood depictions have showed Americans’ stereotypes of Japan, and how that’s changed over the years. Here are a few (Click the images to purchase the films):

Here's an update to my post of a few weeks ago, about the use of yellowface to have white actors playing Asian characters in "Cloud Atlas." MANAA, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, adds its voice to the chorus criticizing the big-budget Hollywood sci-fi for its ridiculous and laughable depiction of Asians: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Guy Aoki (818)...

Yellowface is back in Hollywood, and it's as big, ugly, blatant and offensive as ever. Racebending wrote about this a couple of weeks ago in "The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice, and Artistic License," but as more and more people see the trailer for the new sci-fi flick "Cloud Atlas" (the film just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival) the outrage...

I happened to catch a terrific documentary the other night, "I Am Bruce Lee," which combines a well-researched biography of the late great martial arts star Bruce Lee with interviews with everyone from his wife Linda Lee Caldwell, to LA Lakers star (and martial artist) Kobe Bryant who discuss Lee's legacy and enormous influence on American pop culture. Much of the...

Lynn Chen, one of our favorite actress/food bloggers, is working on a film and reaching out for supporters to donate towards the production. This is an indie project feature film (not a documentary), called "The Man's Guide to Love," written and directed by Chen's cousins, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, based on a website of the same name launched by...

Maggie Q and Albert Kim on the set of "Nikita"Wow, we're excited to announce our Second Anniversary show in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: A one-hour conversation with Albert Kim, a writer and co-producer for the hit CW network action series "Nikita" starring Maggie Q! We'll be speaking with Albert on TUESDAY, MAY 10 at 7 pm Pacific Time (10 PM ET). Just register with visualizAsian (it's free) and you'll get the information to dial in to our conference line, or listen on our live webcast. If you've already registered for visualizAsian calls in the past, you'll automatically receive the dial-in information via email. Remember, you can always submit questions to our visualizAsian guests in advance and during the livecast. You missed our show with Albert Kim! But for a limited time you can still register to hear the archived replay MP3 of the conversation. You may not recognize the name, but if you watch "Nikita" or have watched "Leverage" in the past, you've seen him in the front credits. Here's Albert's bio: Albert Kim is a TV writer, producer, and award-winning journalist. Before his stint the staff of "Nikita," Kim spent three seasons on the hit TNT show "Leverage," and has also written episodes of FX’s "Dirt." But his roots aren't in television scriptwriting.