Taking Responsibility for Other’s Farts and Getting Paid For It (Japanese Edo Period Edition)

During Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1868), one career option for women to pursue was to become a heoibikuni. Basically, the heoibikuni worked for a noblewoman and acted as her lady-in-waiting or chaperone. But apparently, one of the main duties for this position was to take the blame for her noblewoman’s farts.


Whenever the noblewoman farted, it was the heoibikuni’s duty to verbally announce to all who were present that she was the one responsible for the deed. “You smelt it, but I dealt it,” now give me my money ‘cause I gots me a new kimono to buy.

The Perfect Sleeping Bag for Hibernating This Winter


If you’re looking for that perfect Christmas gift this year that will keep your loved ones nice and warm as they hibernate away the cold winter nights, Japanese artist Eiko Ishizawa has created this bear-inspired sleeping bag:


Actually, it was inspired by one particular bear: Bruno the Italian bear who was “put to sleep” when he wandered down from the Alps into Bavaria and was labeled a “problem” bear.

A Very Asian American Thanksgiving

As writer Jeff Yang pointed out on social media, this week sees not one, not two, but three prime-time network TV series with Asian American-themed Thanksgiving episodes.

A DR. KEN Thanksgiving.

A DR. KEN Thanksgiving.

On Monday, we saw a Filipino American Thanksgiving on CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. On Tuesday, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat celebrated a very Taiwanese American Huangsgiving. And finally, on tonight’s Dr. Ken, we get a Korean American vs. Japanese American Thanksgiving.



Three Asian American Thanksgiving episodes in one week is not only the most Asian American Thanksgiving episodes we’ve seen in one week, but it may very well be the most we’ve seen ever…in all of TV history. Maybe we are living in that bizarro world after all.

I Stand with Phuc Dat Bich!

Yes, as you can see from the passport photo below, “Phuc Dat Bich” is this Vietnamese Australian brotha’s real name:


And as you can probably surmise, that name has been the source of some headaches for the 23-year-old including Facebook shutting down his account multiple times and asking him to use his “real” name which prompted him to post this message which quickly went viral:

Throwback Thursday: Pre-1906 Earthquake San Francisco Chinatown

We’re throwing it way back this Thursday to the turn of the 20th Century and San Francisco’s Chinatown. The following pics were taken by photographer Arnold Genthe who opened a photography studio in the City by the Bay after immigrating from Germany. Luckily the photos were stored in a bank vault and survived the great 1906 earthqauke and fire.

The street of the gamblers (by day), Chinatown, San Francisco 18

You can see all of the images here, but check out some of the pics below for a blast from the distant past.

In front of the Joss House, Chinatown, San Francisco 1896-1906

How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you know how tough it can be. Well, one long distance couple—Danbi Shin of New York and Seok Li of Seoul—have found a creative way to help make their relationship work.


Known as the artistic duo of ShinLiArt, the couple have embarked on a project called “Half and Half”—they take photos simultaneously while on video calls and create the “half and half” collages from those images. Check them out below:

long-distance-relationship-korean-couple-photo-collage-half-shiniart-i long-distance-relationship-korean-couple-photo-collage-half-shiniart-c

2015: The Year of the Asian Leading Man on TV?

Randall Park in Fresh Off the Boat.

Randall Park in Fresh Off the Boat.

I was talking to a female Caucasian acquaintance over the weekend and the conversation turned to the “biz,” which led to this observation on her part: “There’s a lot of Asian guys starring in their own TV shows this year.”

It took a second for this statement to register as it’s usually not something you hear unless 1) it’s a joke or 2) you are stuck in some alternate bizarro universe where Asian guys are considered hot, three-dimensional and bankable leading men. But upon closer reflection, I realized she had a point.

Currently on the air are not one, not two, but a slew of TV series where the main lead is an Asian dude. Among them: Daniel Wu in AMC’s latest Into the Badlands, Randall Park in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Ken Jeong in ABC’s Dr. Ken, Aziz Ansari in Netflix’s Master of None, Elyes Gabel in CBS’ Scorpion, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in HBO’s Ballers and John Foo in CBS’ upcoming Rush Hour.

THE WALKING DEAD – Season 6, Episode 6 – “Always Accountable” Recap


NOTE: Anderson is occupied with his Hawaii International Film Fest duties this week so Philip subs in to join David. As always, SPOILERS ahead.

This week’s episode focuses on the heroic trio of Daryl, Sasha and Abraham. Having successfully led the horde of walkers away from Alexandria, our trio is ambushed by mysterious assailants. We don’t learn who they are (more on this in a bit), but we’re pretty sure they aren’t the previously introduced Wolves. For one thing, the Wolves didn’t have guns or cars and this new group definitely has both. While our heroes survive, they get separated. Daryl out by himself in the Virginian woods (where it looks like a forest fire has blackened the land) and Abraham/Sasha holed up in a nearby town where they wait for Daryl to find them.

DAVID: Already this episode is good… you know why? NO RICK! Damn this is a good season so far!

Daryl runs into a man and two women who seem to be fleeing the same assailants that attacked our trio and are looking for someone named “Patty.” They take Daryl hostage—mistaking him for one of the men who are after them. Daryl manages to escape, but returns to help his captors when he realizes one of them is sick and he has the insulin she needs to survive. Luckily, he makes it back in time to help his new frenemies escape from the mysterious assailants, but in the world of the Walking Dead, no good goes unpunished—the sick girl ends up as zombie fodder anyway and her two friends steal Daryl’s motorcycle and crossbow, leaving him stranded. Or is he? Daryl finds “Patty”—which isn’t a person but a gas tanker. He drives away in it to find Sasha and Abraham.

The World We Now Live In


I don’t think there’s anything I can add to the dialogue regarding the recent attacks in Paris that others haven’t already done more eloquently. But I will say that while it’s heartening to see all the voices of support and sympathy during this time, it shouldn’t be surprising that we’re also getting the anti-Muslim sentiment, the pro-gun sentiment (yes, if only the French were allow to bear arms, none of this would’ve happened), those angered that we’re not giving the same attention to terrorist attacks on Beirut/Baghdad/Kenya (although the Kenyan attack took place in April), those upset at folks who haven’t changed their Facebook profile pic to reflect the colors of the French flag, those upset at folks who’ve changed their profile pic to reflect the French flag colors to jump on the bandwagon and/or ignore the attacks in Beirut/Baghdad/Kenya, etc…

AsI said, in the world that we now live in, none of these reactions should be surprising anymore. Troubling maybe, but not surprising. However, I have to admit that one online reaction did catch me by surprise and it was this:

Meet the Laziest Internet Star in Japan

And of course it’s a cat:


Meet 17-year-old Ura, a white Scottish Fold cat, who apparently has a large internet following in Japan for being “lazy.”

Basically, Ura just chills—sometimes in a costume, sometimes not—but…well, that’s about it. Isn’t that what cats do anyway?

North Korea’s Kimchi Crisis


As if living in North Korea weren’t already bad enough, reports indicate that the country is suffering a kimchi shortage.

According to news reports, due to the double whammy of droughts and floods destroying cabbage crops, the ingredients that go into making kimchi are in short supply. This is usually the time of year when families make enough kimchi to store through the winter.

Now, some of our non-Korean readers might be asking, “so there’s no kimchi, what’s the big deal?”

The First Major Film to Star a Robot Actor is Here (and of course it’s Japanese)

Japan really loves its robots. And now one of them is starring in a major motion picture. Sayonara, which recently screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and is scheduled to open in Japan later this month is a drama set in the wake of a deadly nuclear power plant meltdown. One of the film’s lead actors (acting opposite Au Revoir, Les Enfants star Irène Jacob) is Geminoid F and she is a robot:


A robot designed to look like a real flesh and blood female human created by our old friend Hiroshi Ishiguro, a renowned robot designer at Osaka University.

Geminoid F isn’t able to walk by itself so spends the film in a wheelchair (Geminoid F also starred in the play which the film is adapted from), but can talk, sing and mimic facial expressions. Check out the film’s trailer: