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Chinese government bans celebrities from flaunting wealth in new entertainment crackdown rules

China flag

The Chinese government has put forward a new set of rules that prevents celebrities from “showing off” their wealth and “extravagant pleasure” online as President Xi Jinping continues to push his effort to reform social values in China.

The new rules: The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) criticized the “supremacy of [internet] traffic” and “abnormal aesthetics” during an announcement on Tuesday, according to Financial Times.

Karen Tei Yamashita receives lifetime achievement award from National Book Foundation

Karen Tei Yamashita

Japanese American writer Karen Tei Yamashita was honored last Wednesday as the 34th recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Yamashita, born in 1951 to survivors of Japanese American internment, is the author of eight books. Her body of work spans multiple genres and continents and has been credited with helping expand the focus of Asian American literature and its studies to include the Americas at large. 

‘Outsize, empty, mute Asians’: ‘Virtually Asian’ video essay critiques portrayals of Asians in popular sci-fi

Astria Suparak Virtually Asian

A video essay by artist Astria Suparak offers a visual critique of sci-fi and speculative fiction films that use Asian cultures as a backdrop and Asian people as props. 

According to the creators, the project was developed to examine “how white science-fiction filmmakers fill the backgrounds of their futuristic worlds with hollow Asian figures — in the form of video and holographic advertisements — while the main cast (if not the entirety of their fictional universe’s population) is devoid of actual Asian people.

Japanese, Korean and Turkish languages originated from farmers in northeast China, study reveals

five languages 9,000 years china

Five languages — Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Tungusic and Turkish — belonging to the Transeurasian family are claimed to have emerged from a common ancestor who farmed northeast China some 9,000 years ago, according to a new study.

Key findings: Using linguistic, archeological and genetic evidence, an international team of researchers from Asia, Europe, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S. found that the languages can be traced back to the beginning of millet cultivation in China’s West Liao River. Over time, these millet farmers — who belong to the Amur gene pool — migrated to neighboring regions and left their descendants admixing with other populations.

In unsparing pursuit of Asian American identity: A review of Jay Caspian Kang’s ‘The Loneliest Americans’

Jay Casper Kang's "The Loneliest Americans"

In the “Loneliest Americans,” Jay Caspian Kang unpacks the history and impossibility of the “Asian American” identifier, arguing in favor of a deeper solidarity.

Jay Caspian Kang’s “The Loneliest Americans” sets out to deconstruct our understanding of the term “Asian American,” a project that feels at times throughout the book both deeply uncomfortable and potentially impossible. You can tell Kang is feeling it too: there’s an unease around the position Asian Americans occupy in American society, an apprehension around the absurdity of connecting so many diverse people under one identifier,  a concern about his own complicity in the structures he criticizes. 

Adidas draws ire from Indonesians for attributing wayang kulit to Malaysian culture

Adidas criticized for attributing Javanese “wayang kulit” to Malaysian culture

Adidas faced heavy criticism from social media users over a new shoe design based on Javanese “wayang kulit,” a traditional form of shadow puppetry originating from Indonesia. 

Sneaker backlash: The sportswear manufacturer was accused of cultural appropriation after Adidas Singapore shared an image of wayang kulit-inspired sneakers on Instagram and implied that the artform originated in Malaysia, reported Coconuts

‘You’re already in the authoritarian state’: Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei criticizes US ‘woke’ culture

Ai Weiwei Criticizes American Political Correctness

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei has warned about political correctness in the U.S., saying its perpetuation has already turned the country into an authoritarian state without people knowing it.

About Ai Weiwei: Ai, 64, is a contemporary artist who openly criticizes the Chinese Communist Party. In 2011, he was imprisoned for 81 days during a government crackdown that targeted writers, human rights lawyers and other activists.

‘Asian Americans have a place in music’: Singer’s emotional comment lauded by ‘Alter Ego’ judges

James Paek Shocks Judges on Alter Ego

Korean American James Paek received a standing ovation after sharing his takeaway experience from the new Fox singing competition series “Alter Ego.”

Kingston Sol: On the Nov. 10 episode of the show, which sees the show’s contestants performing as their dream avatars, Paek took on a larger-than-life character that channels love and light named “Kingston Sol.” Along with his alter ego, he performed “Let It Go” by James Bay.

Puppeteer Kathy Kim on how ‘Sesame Street’ created Ji-Young, the show’s first Asian American muppet

ji-young kathy kim

Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet, and hear from puppeteer Kathy Kim about how the character came to life. 

A glimpse into the creation of muppets on “Sesame Street,” the video shows the meticulous stitching of Ji-Young’s clothes, the care given to brushing her hair, and the gentle tweaks that shape her features. In a heartwarming moment, Kim meets the finished muppet and hugs her before lifting her up for the first time and exclaiming, “Hi, I’m Ji-Young!” before adding in her own voice, “Oh, I’m going to start crying now.”

Onryō: the vengeful Japanese spirits that inspired ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge’

Onryō japanese ghosts legends spirits

If there’s one ghost who has taken on multiple incarnations in pop culture, it’s the girl from “The Ring.”

The character, who seems rarely referred to by name — it’s Sadako Yamamura, for reference — has lingered in our collective consciousness since the original Japanese film was first released in 1998, haunting horror movie fans for more than 20 years. But the inspiration for Sadako has been part of the Japanese imagination for a lot longer.

From mythical turtles to moon spirits: the legends behind Chuseok and Mid-Autumn Festival

Today, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, many East and Southeast Asian families are gathering for a millennia-old holiday celebrating the harvest season. In Korea, festivities for Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, began yesterday. In China, lanterns have lit up the skies for the Mid-Autumn Festival, or the Mooncake Festival. Both have their own unique set of traditions that are observed today that trace back as early as the first century. 

While similar in the sense that these holidays bring families together and celebrate love, good fortune and gratitude, a deeper dive into their origins reveal individual tales of heroism and mysterious events that highlight the countries’ rich histories.