SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — With its long legs and winding neck, the heron wades through the water, searching for fish to spear with its beak. The bird can symbolize patience, peacefulness, and opportunity in literature. However, in The Heron Catchers, AMI-beloved author and ex-pat in Japan, David Joiner, clarifies that…
SASHA SENGELMANN WRITES – It is no secret that opening up to others may often be a daunting task, for there is no telling whether one’s display of vulnerability will be met with compassion or criticism. Such an idea is apparent in Ao Omae’s People Who Talk to Stuffed Animals…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: PEOPLE WHO TALK TO STUFFED ANIMALS ARE NICE (JUNE 2023) BY AO OMAE – SHARED EXPERIENCES OF ESTRANGED MODERN YOUTH
NATHANIEL SCHOSSAU WRITES – A scene in Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated “Barbie” movie, set for release July 21 and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has caused controversy over—of all things!— a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. The reason: Vietnam and China both claim a particular part of…Full Article VIETNAM: IS THE NEW BARBIE MOVIE PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES?
KAYA RODRIGUES WRITES – In February, I wrote an article about 4Ocean, a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified Corp dedicated to solving the oceanic crisis of global plastic pollution by creating jewelry from recycled plastic. Today, as I gear up to begin my career in retail jewelry with a brand…Full Article SINGAPORE: CAN A SMALL ISLAND COUNTRY RAISE GLOBAL AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION?
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — Vera Wong’s days are often uneventful. Despite owning her own business, she finds that her once vibrant neighborhood and community have become monotonous—until a dead man turns up in her teahouse. When the police, however, don’t seem to take it as seriously as she expects, Vera…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: VERA WONG’S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS (2023) BY JESSE SUTANTO – A WHOLESOME INVESTIGATION OF THE UNCONVENTIONAL
ALI ZANE WRITES – Long criticized for its sex crime laws, Japan has revised the Penal Code, redefining rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse. Previously, rape was classified as forcible sexual intercourse, meaning that the assailant had to have used physical violence to qualify for prosecution. This century-old law has created…Full Article JAPAN: RECENT LEGAL REVISIONS ELIMINATE “FORCIBLE” FROM THE DEFINITION OF RAPE
SAM BECK WRITES – It was a momentous event, the culmination of a long fight to recognize the rights of those who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community, and a nationwide celebration of Pride Month: On June 24, Manila held the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival, and Quezon City held the LoveLaban:…Full Article PHILIPPINES: THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY WINS BIG AND RIGHTS THE WRONGS OF DISCRIMINATION
ANGELINE KEK WRITES — Anyone who has lived to tell the tale can testify: life comes at you fast. The same sun rises daily, marking the start of another predicament to put right and another tight spot to escape. Thrown into the throes of life’s unrelenting torrent, how strange is it…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: BEIJING SPRAWL (2023) BY XU ZECHEN — ONE MUST IMAGINE THEIR PEOPLE HAPPY
RYAN BYRNE WRITES – Last week, after more than a year of trading barbs and lawsuits, the world’s preeminent golf circuit, the PGA Tour, announced that it, along with the European-based DP World Tour, would merge with the Saudi-backed LIV Tour. The LIV Tour, then, managed to leverage the enormous coffers…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: A WIN FOR THE SAUDI-BACKED LIV TOUR, A LOSS FOR ASIAN GOLF
ARMAAN JHANGIANI writes – Societies with law and order, power and stability, and virtues of morality and love have always been epitomized as the peak of human community and self-restraint. While the beginnings of America would encapsulate this, the industrial rise following America’s success in World War II would introduce…Full Article HAS THE INDIVIDUAL FALLEN?
Dear Asia Media International and LMU Community: I am saddened to share that Tom Plate, clinical assistant professor of Asian Pacific American Studies, passed away on May 23, 2023, of natural causes. He was 79 years old. Professor Plate joined LMU in August 2010 teaching part-time as a Distinguished Scholar…Full Article In Memoriam: Tom Plate, Asia Media International Founder
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — K-pop has always been rife with experimentation—throughout music, styling, and choreography. With their debut mini album Assemble, the South Korean girl group TripleS brings a fresh, trendy, Y2K-inspired sound. Making their mark in a saturated and ever-evolving market, they implore listeners to be their authentic selves…Full Article MUSIC REVIEW: HOW TRIPLES IS MAKING THEIR MARK ON K-POP
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES — What if talking were like reaching into a vast abyss with no hope of a response? That’s how it is for South Korean author Han Kang’s mute protagonist in her latest English language release, Greek Lessons (2023). Kang’s novel, both riveting and entirely…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: GREEK LESSONS (2023) BY HAN KANG — A MEDITATION ON SILENCE AND SELFHOOD
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — Chunyu’s life flows like water. She fits herself expertly into a shape demanded by her circumstances. In Zhang Ling’s tenth novel, Where Waters Meet (2023), people, especially women, are asked by the often harsh world to take the form of the formless, to fill their allotted…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE TWO LIFEBLOODS IN ZHANG LING’S WHERE WATERS MEET (2023)
GABY RUSLI WRITES— To be or not to be happy? That is certainly not the question. The soon-to-be-published in America short story collection Happy Stories, Mostly (2021) expresses an LGBTQ+ person’s limited accessibility to happiness in a world plagued with acute heteronormativity. Happy Stories, Mostly (2023) by Indonesian-born Norman Erikson Pasaribu is a collection…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: HAPPY STORIES, MOSTLY (2023) BY NORMAN ERIKSON PASARIBU — ALWAYS ALMOST, NEVER QUITE
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — Music cycles. It flows in conversation with itself over years and decades, returning to similar themes with new twists. In her most recent EP titled space, Indonesian singer-songwriter Rahmania Astrini uses musical themes of the past to tell modern stories of love, interpersonal relationships, and friendship.…Full Article MUSIC REVIEW: RAHMANIA ASTRINI AND MAKING SPACE FOR MUSIC—NEW AND OLD
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – There’s nothing quite like finding out your house is very much alive and wants to consume you. Vietnamese American teenager, Jade Nguyen, lands in Vietnam with her younger sister Lily for the heroic purpose of surviving five weeks with her estranged father, with…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: SHE IS A HAUNTING (2023) BY TRANG THANH TRAN – A BLEAK HOUSE WITH SPECTRAL VISION