The World Loses Mako Iwamatsu, One Fine Actor


Pioneearing Asian actor in Hollywood Mako Iwamatsu, who was often known just as "Mako," died last Friday, July 21 of esophageal cancer at his home in California. He was 72--only 72!

Such a fine actor, I am so sorry that his last movie was "Memoirs of a Geisha." (He made another movie, "Rise," starrting Lucy Liu, but I don't know when we get to see it.)

What a loss. He did so much... Read his bio here.

The next Academy Awards show better include him in the section where they feature those who died in the previous year...

Look Book's Asian male model


I understand that New York mag's "The Look Book" section features a fashionable and/or funky-looking New Yorker in each issue (correct me if I'm wrong). The current Look Book guy, "Joshua Ku, Student and Model" is getting a bit of attention in places like Gawker. He is a model? And he's the most unhappy- and unhealthy-looking Asian male model I've ever seen.

COMING SOON! Essays by Chikako Atsuta

Attention, please -- a Japanese book of essays by my good friend Chikako Atsuta will be published by Shimpusha soon -- next week!

The book will be mostly in Japanese only (there will be a few bilingual pages), but a comprehensive website on which you can read many of her essays in both English and Japanese is in the works, too. Its launch will coincide the publication of the book.

I will upload details here as soon as I have them.

Meanwhile you can visit:


This is a website originally created by, and now is dedicated to the memory of, Chicako Atsuta, known by many as Ako. She passed away in Boston in August 2004. Read some of her insightful and funny essays (in English) about the life of a Japanese girl on the East Coast.

Miss Universe channels ninja... or whatever


Okay, this is Kurara Chibana, the Japanese contestant in the Miss Universe 2006. She showed up looking like this for the "native dress" section of the pageant.... Yeah, right. Our great-grandmothers wore something like this every day. Oh whatever, she could have done much worse (hint: Memoirs of a Geisha).

Is America Obsessed with Asian Women?


poster for "the barbarian and the geisha" (1958)

I came home from a trip to the States with a question: Is America obsessed with us Asian ladies?

Leafing through the November/December issue of Radar magazine I picked up at the San Francisco airport, I got to thinking. In the mag, I found not one but two (albeit tiny) pieces on dating/marrying us, Asian women.

...read more

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