Blog: 8Asians

8Asians is a collaborative online publication that features original, diverse commentary by Asians from around the world on issues that affect our community.

Check out the articles I’ve written for 8Asians. (Please note: The articles are from newest to oldest.)

Asian American X-Files: The Only Asian Person to Have Sex With an Alien

Asian American X-Files: The Only Asian Person to Have Sex With an AlienEver since I read Communion by Whitley Strieber, I’ve been fixated on the alien abductee experience. One of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of the screen memories of abductees seem to involve Asians. The definition, according to Merriam-Webster, of screen memory is: “a recollection of early childhood that may be falsely recalled or magnified in importance and that masks another memory of deep emotional significance.” When used in context of an alien […] Continue »

Summer League & Ding Yanyuhang

Summer League & Ding YanyuhangIn July, I went with my family and friends to Las Vegas to watch my Los Angeles Lakers play in the Summer League. For those who don’t know, Summer League is sort of like Major League Baseball’s spring training but with rookies and second year players. This year was an extra special because we got to watch the young UCLA phenomenon and Lakers’ #2 draft pick Lonzo Ball play—by the way, he’s as good as […] Continue »

Did Jesus Die in Ancient Japan?

Did Jesus Die in Ancient Japan?Twenty thousand people every year visit Shingō Village in the Aomori Prefecture (referred to as: Kirisuto no Sato or “Hometown of Christ” by locals) that claims that Jesus visited Japan during his lost years and then returned after escaping crucifixion by having his brother take his place on the cross, making his way to Shingō where he became a garlic farmer, married a local woman, and had three children. Today, in Shingō, you can visit […] Continue »

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 2 of 2)

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 2 of 2)In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave. #UnheardLA – My Father’s Lost […] Continue »

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 1 of 2)

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 1 of 2)In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave. #UnheardLA – My Father’s Lost […] Continue »

Asian American Conspiracy Files: Senator Daniel Inouye

Asian American Conspiracy Files: Senator Daniel InouyeI’ve mentioned before that I pretty much love anything paranormal or conspiracy related. Give me a good alien abduction, or haunting, or JFK assassination story and I will be happy for hours. Not that I believe most of it—or any of it for that matter. I find the stories fascinating, especially what they say about us as humans and society itself. The two areas of my life that rarely meet are my love for the […] Continue »

Top 5 Asian American Athletes

Top 5 Asian American AthletesI heart professional sports. I love baseball, basketball, and football. I’m mostly obsessed with my local teams (Dodgers, Lakers, USC, and now Chargers). To prove it, I spend way too much time on fantasy sports. (On a side note, I’m the commissioner of a dynasty football league and we’re looking for a new owner so if interested, hit me up). That’s why when I tried to figure out what I should write about, I couldn’t […] Continue »

What if the “aliens” who crashed in Roswell were really Japanese?

What if the “aliens” who crashed in Roswell were really Japanese?I’m obsessed with all things aliens—and in the time of Trump, I should be clear, the ones from outer space not the non-citizens. I’ve gone to UFO conventions, watch every alien-themed documentary on Netflix, and listen to every paranormal podcast. Like Mulder on X-Files, “I want to believe.” So that’s why I was surprised when I read Nick Redfern’s new book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy: Exposing A Shocking And Sinister Secret, that claims that maybe the aliens that crashed in Roswell were not actually aliens but humans from Japan. I’ve heard of people thinking Asians might be aliens. I even wrote an 8Asians article about it […] Continue »

8Books Review: “The Little Exile” by Jeanette S. Arakawa

8Books Review: "The Little Exile" by Jeanette S. ArakawaThe incarceration during World War II has left a scar on the Japanese American community. That’s not surprising, considering how traumatic being forced to leave your home and into a prison in the middle of a desert or swamp would be. But people are always surprised by how scarring it was. For many Japanese Americans, “camps” are still something that is talked about in homes and of course at community events, despite more than seventy-five […] Continue »

Graphic Novel: 442; first 6 chapters have been released for free

Graphic Novel: 442; first 6 chapters have been released for freeThe first six chapters of my new graphic novel “442” have been released for free on the comic reading app “Stela Unlimited”. Written by Phinny Kiyomuraa and myself, and illustrated (in beautiful watercolor) by Robert Sato, “442” is based on one of World War II’s most compelling and important stories. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the U.S. Army’s Japanese American segregated fighting regiment. The 442nd would become the most decorated unit of the War, […] Continue »

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Joey Guila

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Joey GuilaA few years ago, I was lucky enough to produce a one hour special for the super talented Dwayne Perkins called Take Notes. (If you want to check it out, it’s on Netflix). It was a fun and great project to work on. That’s why when director/producer Quentin Lee and I were trying to figure out our next project, doing a stand up series featuring Asian Americans made sense. Comedy InvAsian is what came out of […] Continue »

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Amy Hill

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Amy HillA few years ago, I was lucky enough to produce a one hour special for the super talented Dwayne Perkins called Take Notes. (If you want to check it out, it’s on Netflix). It was a fun and great project to work on. That’s why when director/producer Quentin Lee and I were trying to figure out our next project, doing a stand up series featuring Asian Americans made sense. Comedy InvAsian is what came out of […] Continue »

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Robin Tran

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Robin TranA few years ago, I was lucky enough to produce a one hour special for the super talented Dwayne Perkins called Take Notes. (If you want to check it out, it’s on Netflix). It was a fun and great project to work on. That’s why when director/producer Quentin Lee and I were trying to figure out our next project, doing a stand up series featuring Asian Americans made sense. Comedy InvAsian is what came out of […] Continue »

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Paul PK Kim

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Paul PK KimA few years ago, I was lucky enough to produce a one hour special for the super talented Dwayne Perkins called Take Notes. (If you want to check it out, it’s on Netflix). It was a fun and great project to work on. That’s why when director/producer Quentin Lee and I were trying to figure out our next project, doing a stand up series featuring Asian Americans made sense. Comedy InvAsian is what came out of […] Continue »

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Kevin Yee

8Questions: Comedy InvAsian with Kevin YeeA few years ago, I was lucky enough to produce a one hour special for the super talented Dwayne Perkins called Take Notes. (If you want to check it out, it’s on Netflix). It was a fun and great project to work on. That’s why when director/producer Quentin Lee and I were trying to figure out our next project, doing a stand up series featuring Asian Americans made sense. Comedy InvAsian is what came out of […] Continue »

Executive Order 13800, A New Film by Koji Steven Sakai

Executive Order 13800, A New Film by Koji Steven SakaiI’m working on a new feature film called Executive Order 13800. It’s a film that asks the question, what if what happened to Japanese Americans seventy-five years ago during World War 2, happened today to Arab and Muslim Americans? I started working on this project with my friend and writing partner Mustafa Rony Zeno about a year ago. But we abandoned the project because it felt too far-fetched at the time. However, the day after […] Continue »

8Questions: The Big Bachi Team

8Questions: The Big Bachi TeamLast week I wrote an article about my involvement with the new feature film, The Big Bachi, and why I thought it was important and worthwhile project. I thought it’d be great opportunity to speak to some of the principals behind the production. So I asked Derek Shimoda (the director), Mark Tasaka (the writer), Oliver Ike (the Producer), and Naomi Hirahara (the original writer of the book) four questions. […] Continue »

Support ‘The Big Bachi’

Support 'The Big Bachi'As a programmer at the Japanese American National Museum, I have been on the front lines of Asian American culture for more than a decade. That’s why when Fresh Off the Boat came out on ABC, we were excited and proud to host some community screenings. It was exciting to see a cast of talented and amazing Asian American actors on network television. But what was more exciting—at least for me—was to see how thrilled […] Continue »

 

8Books Review: “Rayven Choi” by Shequeta L. Smith

8Books Review: "Rayven Choi" by Shequeta L. SmithI’m going to let you behind-the-scenes here at 8Asians: Publishers who have any content featuring Asians usually approach the site looking for some publicity with the APIA audience. The requests are then sent out on our internal email list, I usually see them and almost all of them don’t interest me. However, when I saw the words, “graphic novel,” and “strong African American heroine” I wanted to give it a read. And I’m thankful that […] Continue »

 

“Goofy,” A Short Story Part 3 of 3

"Goofy," A Short Story Part 3 of 3Author’s note: I originally wrote this story 2013 for a children’s book about the Japanese American World War II experience. I published it on 8Asians in 2014. However, with the recent events and rhetoric surrounding our presidential election, I started becoming worried that the events of this short story could happen again—not to Japanese American but to Muslim and Arab Americans. I wanted to reimagine these events if they happened today to help make sure […]Continue »

 

“Goofy,” A Short Story Part 2 of 3

"Goofy," A Short Story Part 2 of 3

Author’s note: I originally wrote this story 2013 for a children’s book about the Japanese American World War II experience. I published it on 8Asians in 2014. However, with the recent events and rhetoric surrounding our presidential election, I started becoming worried that the events of this short story could happen again—not to Japanese American but to Muslim and Arab Americans. I wanted to reimagine these events if they happened today to help make sure […]Continue »

 

“Goofy,” A Short Story Part 1 of 3

"Goofy," A Short Story Part 1 of 3

Author’s note: I originally wrote this story 2013 for a children’s book about the Japanese American World War II experience. I published it on 8Asians in 2014. However, with the recent events and rhetoric surrounding our presidential election, I started becoming worried that the events of this short story could happen again—not to Japanese American but to Muslim and Arab Americans. I wanted to reimagine these events if they happened today to help make sure […]Continue »

 

The Most Important Video You’ll See Today

The Most Important Video You'll See Today

This is a video I believe every Asian American–heck, every American–should see. In it, the Honorable Ron Dellums from Oakland gave one of the most stirring speeches about the effects of the taking of Japanese Americans had on people outside of the Japanese American community. No matter how times I watch it, I tear up when I hear him describing his crying out when his best friend was taken away. During this time of fear, […] Continue »

 

Tila Tequila and the N-Word

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Tila Tequila became famous for being a MySpace model and somehow turned that into a reality TV career. I had forgotten about her when this news story came out: Continue »

8Books Review: “Beyond the Tiger Mom” by Maya Thiagarajan

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I’ve always seen myself as a Tiger dad. I know saying that has a lot of negative connotations. But I have big dreams for my toddler. First, he’s going to get into Harvard, then either make the NBA or play Major League Baseball, whichever pays him more. After a hall of fame career, he’ll transition into politics where he’ll be the first Asian American president. Continue »

8Questions with Dr. Sandra Lee, AKA: Dr. Pimple Popper

8Questions with Dr. Sandra Lee, AKA: Dr. Pimple Popper
I admit it, I’m a popaholic and I’m proud. Not sure what that is? It’s a person who loves watching videos of pimples, cysts, blackheads. The bigger, the better. For a long long long time, I never told anyone. I mean, once in a while, it slipped out. I’d show my wife a video that I liked. Her disgusted face was enough to reinforce that I shouldn’t share my love/fascination with anyone else. My wife is […] Continue »

 

Can Asians Fly?

Can Asians Fly?With the recent ATR-72 TransAsia Airways plane crash in Taiwan and the Asian airplane tragedies in the last couple of years, I thought it was important for me to weigh in on the question of whether Asians pilots can fly airplanes. Before I get started, I’m going to go on a huge limb here and say that this is a dumb stereotype that is related to the equally dumb stereotype that Asians can’t drive. (I address […] Continue »

 

8Books Review: “How Much Do You Love Me?” by Paul Mark Tag

8Books Review: "How Much Do You Love Me?" by Paul Mark Tag“How Much Do You Love Me?” by Paul Mark Tag is the kind of novel I usually hate. Here’s the Amazon.comsynopsis: It’s December 1941, and the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Politicians fuel anti-Japanese hysteria and campaign to segregate Japanese Americans. During this period of hate and racial frenzy, Keiko and James, a Japanese American and a Caucasian, fall in love and marry. Before long, James goes off to war and Keiko to an […] Continue »

 

Calling All Writers: Time Traveling Is Not For Everyone

Calling All Writers: Time Traveling Is Not For EveryoneThose who know me know I’m a sci-fi/fantasy geek. When I was younger, I used to only read the classics. I think it was partly because I felt as though I should read those and wanted to look smart when I understood a reference that no one else got. But as I’ve gotten older, I don’t really care about any of that anymore. I pretty much read every zombie and vampire book I can get my […] Continue »

 

8 Random Facts: Flower Drum Song

8 Random Facts: Flower Drum SongI’m working on a screenplay and one of the films my co-writer asked me to watch was Flower Drum Song. As my writing partner noted, it is “perhaps the only mainstream musical with all Asian American characters.” The sad thing is that he was right. The closet thing I could think of was the King & I. And that play wasn’t all Asian American. So over the holidays I watched the 1961 Universal –International film starring […]Continue »

Gifts That Look Like Me

Gifts That Look Like MeI know recently there’s been a backlash against the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon. If you aren’t a parent, then you might not know what I’m talking about. Elf on the Shelf is a book that comes with an elf. The story goes that the elf watches the children during the day and then at night returns to the North Pole to tell Santa if the kids have been naughty or nice. The fun […]Continue »

Watch the New Webseries ‘Unusual Targets’

Watch the New Webseries 'Unusual Targets'As a filmmaker and as a blogger here on 8Asians, I get hit up to write about everyone and their mother’s webseries. While I’ve seen a lot of good ones (don’t worry, yours was great!), I mostly see a lot of really bad webseries. That’s why when my friend, Tom Huang, sent me an email about his newest project, Unusual Targets, I didn’t have very high hopes for it. However, because I love Tom’s films and writing […]Continue »

Earwax: We Are Not Created Equal

Earwax: We Are Not Created EqualIt might be just me, but I assumed that everyone had the same earwax. But while researching my last article (Do Asians Smell?) I found out that (most) Asians have completely different earwax than those of other races. I even told my wife this fact and it blew her mind. Okay, she didn’t really care, but she did express mild surprise which is more than I can say for most of my articles so you’ll forgive […] Continue »

Do Asians Smell?

Do Asians Smell?Dear 8Asians readers, After a long long long hiatus, I’m back! And asking the hard hitting questions I’ve come to be known for. Please send me questions that you want answered! Today’s topic is—drum roll please—“Do Asians Smell?” (This should not be mistaken for my article, “Do Asians have the worst smelling farts?”) Before I begin, let me be clear: I don’t smell. Never have. At least, I don’ t think so. Any ex-girlfriends out […] Continue »

“Kuma,” A Short Story, Part 3 of 3

"Kuma," A Short Story, Part 3 of 3Please Note: This story is fictional and was originally intended for a children’s book.  Previously… “Kuma” (Part 1) and “Kuma” (Part 2) Kuma (Pt. 3) Eddy’s life changed right away.  He stopped going to school and his family wasn’t allowed to leave the house at night.  Eddy spent the first couple of days playing with Kuma and with Julia once she got back from school. Eddy noticed a lot of strangers were going in and out of […] Continue »

“Kuma,” A Short Story, Part 2 of 3

"Kuma," A Short Story, Part 2 of 3Please Note: This story is fictional and was originally intended for a children’s book.  Previously… “Kuma” (Part 1) Kuma (Pt. 2) Eddy was a Nisei, which means second generation Japanese.  In other words, his parents were born in Japan, but he was born in America and was therefore a citizen.  Because he had never visited his parent’s homeland and since he couldn’t speak a word of their native language, he always felt more American than Japanese. But […] Continue »

“Kuma,” A Short Story, Part 1 of 3

"Kuma," A Short Story, Part 1 of 3Please Note: This story is fictional and was originally intended for a children’s book.  Kuma  Eddy Murakami’s10th birthday was on July 4, 1941 and he knew he wanted a dog.  He even had a name picked out already.  The dog’s name was going to be Kuma, which in Japanese means, “bear.” For the entire month of June, Eddy begged his dad to get him a dog. “Dad, can I have a dog?” Eddy would ask every time […]Continue »

About ‘626 Night Market,’ the Largest Asian Night Market in the U.S.

About '626 Night Market,' the Largest Asian Night Market in the U.S.Watch out world, the center of Asian America is the 626, which for those of you who don’t know is the area code for the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County. Okay, maybe there’s a little bit of hyperbole (or a lot) there but do you blame me taking some pride in my neighborhood? Having been born, raised, and still living in the 626, I remember back in the 90s when no one outside […] Continue »

Hip to be Asian American?

Hip to be Asian American?It’s Hip to be Asian in the US by Elizabeth Lee of Voice of America, argues that there is a new coolness in being Asian. I have noticed it too. Asian America isn’t as much on the fringes (of popular culture) as it was when I was younger. It has become much more part of society in general. One great example of this is boba tea. In the early 90s, I had to go to […] Continue »

Save Nina

Save NinaEver since I had a baby, I’m way more emotional than I have ever been. Put it this way, it’s not uncommon to find me tearing up during television sitcoms and romantic comedies. That’s why the first time I heard about Nina and what she is going through, I felt like crying and wanted to do everything I could to help her. Here is a little bit more about Nina: An extraordinary woman, mother, and […] Continue »

Armed With a Camera Fellowship

Armed With a Camera FellowshipAs a filmmaker, I am a big believer in the importance of API film festivals. I believe they are the incubator of API talent and help get our stories on the big screen. One of the first people to believe in me and my writing were the good folks at Visual Communications, who put on the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival every year. Through their Armed with a Camera (AWC) fellowship, they helped me […]Continue »

Hate Map: Tweets Negatively Referring to “Chink”

Hate Map: Tweets Negatively Referring to "Chink"In my lifetime, I’ve been called a “Chink” more than a “Jap.” Of course this doesn’t stop people on YouTube from calling me a “Jap.” To be fair, this was in response to my movie “Chink” and I did want to touch a nerve with people. Based on this person’s reaction, I guess it worked. I remember the first time I was called a “Chink.” My first reaction was that I wasn’t Chinese/Chinese American. The […] Continue »

Five Non-Asian Asians

Five Non-Asian AsiansBecause May is Asian Pacific Heritage month, I wanted to write about all the people I assumed or rather wanted to believe were Asian/Pacific Islander. Some of these are more benign than others but they all stem from the simple fact that as a child (and as an adult) I wanted there to be more people that resembled me in politics and entertainment. Snake Eyes (from G.I. Joe). I’ve written about this before but as […] Continue »

Why Do So Many Asians Have Bowl Hair Cuts?

Why Do So Many Asians Have Bowl Hair Cuts?My wife and I have been discussing whether we should give our 1-year-old son a bowl haircut. Okay, discuss is not really what happened. I asked her if we should give him a bowl haircut, and she said, “No.” I tried to explain to her that a bowl haircut is a rite of passage for Asian Americans. I had one (see the above picture). All of my Asian American friends had one. So shouldn’t my […] Continue »

Rant: Film Festivals, Ethnic Studies, Political Correctness, and Race

Rant: Film Festivals, Ethnic Studies, Political Correctness, and RaceI consider myself a professional Asian American, which means that I work in the “community.” There are positives and negatives that come with being a professional Asian American. The biggest negative is that people tend to rant at me about the state of Asian America and the worst part is they want me to agree with them. Well, I’m sick of being ranted at. It’s my turn to rant. This is my rant on Asian […]Continue »

Do Asians Sweat More?

Do Asians Sweat More?We do. And according to this New York Times article, “East Asian Physical Traits Linked to 35,000-Year-Old Mutation” by Nicholas Wade, East Asians also have: thicker hair shafts more sweat glands characteristically identified teeth smaller breasts The article references a study trying to figure out the gene(s) that causes the variations between people on different continents. This particular study looked at the EDAR gene. According to the article, “Africans and Europeans carry the standard version […] Continue »

Trader Joes Cha Siu Bao vs. Authentic Cha Siu Bao

Trader Joes Cha Siu Bao vs. Authentic Cha Siu BaoMy toddler son LOVES the cha siu bao from Trader Joes. It’s his favorite thing to eat in the world. If we go to dim sum, he’ll eat the fresh bao but he doesn’t eat it with the  same gusto he eats the frozen ones from TJs. I admit it. It makes me sad. I want him to prefer the authentic stuff. This is not to say that the Trader Joe’s bao isn’t good – […]Continue »

71st Anniversary of Executive Order 9066

71st Anniversary of Executive Order 9066Today, February 19, marks the 71st anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which is responsible for sending approximately 120,000 Japaneses Americans to remote camps throughout the United States — two-thirds of whom were American citizens. To commemorate this infamous event, I wanted to post the text from the actual executive order for people to read and reflect: Executive Order No. 9066 The President Executive Order Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas Whereas […] Continue »

Reaction to the Guardian Article: Japanese Minister Says, “Let elderly people ‘hurry up and die’”

Reaction to the Guardian Article: Japanese Minister Says, "Let elderly people 'hurry up and die'"On January 22, the Guardian ran an article about how Taro Aso, Japan’s new finance minister, said: “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.” […] Continue »

3 Famous Japanese American World War II Court Cases Everyone Should Know About

3 Famous Japanese American World War II Court Cases Everyone Should Know AboutIn California, January 30 is Fred Korematsu Day to remember the landmark 1944 Koreamatsu v. United States case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the incarceration of Japanese Americans solely because of their race/ethnicity was not necessarily unconstitutional. Writing for the majority, Justice Hugo Black held that although “all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect” and subject to tests of “the most rigid scrutiny,” not […] Continue »

8Questions: Keni Styles, Asian American Male Adult Film Star

8Questions: Keni Styles, Asian American Male Adult Film StarThe first time I heard of Keni Styles, one of the first heterosexual Asian male porn stars in America, I felt pride. Because there was someone out there who was breaking the stereotype that Asian males are sexless, effeminate, weird, and/or all of the above. He was proving that Asian American males could be sexy, great lovers, and desired. And he was doing it in the adult film business of all places! According to Wikipedia, […] Continue »

Future of Japan and What that Means for Japanese Americans

Future of Japan and What that Means for Japanese AmericansThis past Sunday, the New York Times had an opinion piece title, “Without Babies, Can Japan Survive” by Alexandra Harney. The article discusses the problems facing Japan’s aging population and what kind of future Japan could have (assuming the current trends continue). Here are some alarming facts about Japan (gleamed from the article): The first grade class at the elementary school in Nanmoku, about 85 miles from Tokyo, has just a single student this year. […]Continue »

My Asian Thanksgiving Dinner

My Asian Thanksgiving DinnerLast year was a very special year for my family. My wife and I welcomed a beautiful, happy, and healthy baby into our lives. Spending our first holidays with the baby is something that I will never forget – mostly because I got such little sleep! If you’ve had an infant then you know that the only way to stay sane is to make the rest of your life as simple and easy as possible. […] Continue »

Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is Important

Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is ImportantWhen I was a kid, I LOVED comic books. I bought every X-Men comic I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. This was a long time ago and back then the idea of Asian American superheroes was pretty much unheard of. This is not to say that Asian/Asian Americans weren’t in comic books. The one prominent one I remember reading was Sunfire. Here is the Wikipedia description of him: Sunfire is a temperamental […] Continue »

The Most Notorious Asians American Murderers

The Most Notorious Asians American MurderersI’ve been meaning to write a post about the most embarrassing Asian Americans in history for a long time. But before I started writing it, I wanted to see if anyone in the world wide Internet had written anything similar. And of course, someone has. Well, kinda. K. Thor Jenson in 2011 wrote an article for UGO.com called, “Ribbons of Shame:  The Most Embarrassing Asians.”[…] Continue »

A Response To Roger Lotchins’ “There Were No Concentration Camps In America” Article

A Response To Roger Lotchins' “There Were No Concentration Camps In America” ArticleThe first lesson I want to teach my son is that there are idiots in the world. Lots of them. And just because you teach a class in college or you have a degree does not mean you are not an idiot. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that ALL professors and people who have degrees are idiots but some of them are. Roger Lotchin, an alleged professor of history at the […]Continue »

A Response to New Penis Size Survey That Ranks US 11th, Right Behind Japan

A Response to New Penis Size Survey That Ranks US 11th, Right Behind JapanWhen the article, New Penis Size Survey: U.S. Ranks 11th. Right Behind Japan article came out it seems everyone I knew was sending it to me and saying I should write about it for 8Asians. For some reason, when people read about body parts and it mentions Asians or Asian Americans, they think of me. I’m not sure if I should be flattered or worried. I’m going with flattered. For the record, I do have […] Continue »

Do Asians Have Souls?

Do Asians Have Souls?No, Asians do not have souls. End of article. For the record Asians are also aliens, Asians can fly, and Asians have no peripheral vision. Okay, Asians aren’t aliens, Asians can’t fly, and Asians do have peripheral vision. But whether or not Asians have souls or not, I guess that’s a matter of faith. However, the idea that Asians are soulless solely (hahaha) because they are Asian is… well… obviously very racist.  […] Continue »

The “Asianization” Of Southern California’s San Marino

The “Asianization” Of Southern California's San MarinoI was a weird kid. When I was deciding whether or not I wanted to transfer schools from a private prep to San Marino High School, one of the best public high schools in the state of California, the biggest factor in my decision was the thought that it’d be good to go to school with more “different” types of people. In other words, I thought a public high school would imply more diversity. I […]Continue »

Why I Heart The 626

Why I Heart The 626Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran the article,  “The Asian American youth culture is coming of age in ‘the 626‘,” highlighting the role of people like Andrew and David Fung, who have brought much deserved attention to the San Gabriel Valley or 626 (which is the area code). For those of you who don’t know, the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) is located east of Los Angeles city and represents home to many many many Asian/Asian […] Continue »

Do Asians Have Peripheral Vision?

Do Asians Have Peripheral Vision?Apparently, Asians are like dogs. We lack peripheral vision.  I guess that means we can only see what is directly in front of us. I kid you not, people actually believe this. I found people wanting to know if Asians have peripheral vision on Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, etc. but also on car forums, sports blogs, legal forums, and any other site where people talk about Asians. These discussions were taking place all over the globe […] Continue »

Top 5 Unsung Heroes In Japanese American History (Pt 2)

Top 5 Unsung Heroes In Japanese American History (Pt 2)Earlier this year I wrote an article entitled, Top 5 Unsung Heroes In Japanese American History. One of my editors correctly pointed out that all five people on my list were men. This was totally unintentional but I promised at the time that I would write another article featuring five female unsung heroes in Japanese American history. This is my attempt to make good on my promise but more importantly highlight some more heroes from […] Continue »

What Would You Do? Racism In Your News Feed

What Would You Do? Racism In Your News FeedThe other day I was checking out my Facebook news feed when I noticed something that made me groan. A friend (a person I actually know offline) had posted something that I took as offensive, if not downright racist. I’m not going to go into specifics here but let’s just say it played on the Asian stereotype of pronouncing “L” as an “R.” A tired and cliché racism. I should be clear that I don’t […] Continue »

Do Asians Have The Softest Skin?

Do Asians Have The Softest Skin?A non-Asian ex-girlfriend once told me that my skin was really soft. Not just kinda soft but REALLY soft. Baby butt soft. She asked if I did “anything” to my skin. I told her no. At first, she didn’t believe me but she eventually chalked it up to me being “Asian.” At the time I wasn’t sure how I should take that statement. Was it racist? Should I have been offended? I have to be […]Continue »

NYT: Japanese Americans Seek Answers at “Internment” Camp

NYT: Japanese Americans Seek Answers at "Internment" CampRecently, there was a New York Times article about the stigma surrounding the Japanese Americans who were unlawfully incarcerated in the Tule Lake concentration camp (after it became segregated).  Even though more than 70 years have passed, the Tule Lake stigma (especially from within the Japanese American community) is still there. The NYT story is important to me because my grandfather and his family were imprisoned there. I wanted to write a letter to my […] Continue »

Top 5 Unsung Heroes In Japanese American History

Top 5 Unsung Heroes In Japanese American HistoryAs a recent father, I want to teach my son that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes.  That being heroic can mean being brave on the field of battle but it can also mean doing the right thing, even if it is unpopular. In other words, I want my son to know that there are heroes like Superman but there also everyday heroes in our own community that look like normal every day […]Continue »

Do Asians Have the Worst Smelling Farts?

Do Asians Have the Worst Smelling Farts?Before I begin, I want it to be clear that my farts smell like the strawberry air freshener they use at car washes. So this article is about other APIs. Not me. I admit, I’ve always wondered if Asian people’s farts are smellier than other races. So I decided to do some “research.” But before you begin typing “Asians and farts” or “Farting Asians” in your little Google search bar, I need to warn you […] Continue »

Why Growing Up Asian American Is Better Today

Why Growing Up Asian American Is Better TodayThere is no better time to be a young API American than today… Trust me! Don’t believe me? Let’s go back in time… way way way way way back when I was your age. When Dinosaurs ruled the earth. Okay, I’m not THAT old but I’m old. Really old compared to you guys. I was born in 1977, which for those of you who aren’t good at math, means I’m 35 years old. I grew […]Continue »

Activist James Akira Hirabayashi Passes Away

Activist James Akira Hirabayashi Passes AwayPeople need to know who James Akira Hirabayashi was. A scholar and an activist, he was one of the professors who “risked their jobs when they went on strike in 1968, a historic social movement that led to the creation of the first autonomous school of ethnic studies” at San Francisco State University. He later became the chair of the department. He was also an earlier advisor and employee of the Japanese American National Museum […] Continue »

Koji’s Top 10 Favorite 8Asians Comments

Koji's Top 10 Favorite 8Asians CommentsI love it when sitcoms break the “fourth wall” and look back at their favorite moments. I also love year in review news stories and articles. I think it’s the looking back and reflecting that I like the most. This article is my chance to look back at my last three years as an 8Asians writer. But instead of looking back at my favorite articles, I’m going to look back at my favorite comments. One […] Continue »

8Questions with Jessi Malay, Hapa Artist

8Questions with Jessi Malay, Hapa ArtistI openly admit I am a gangsta rap fan. So I have to constantly remind myself that there is more music out there than 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and/or Snoop Doggy Dog. One talented hapa artist I’ve been following (that isn’t a gangsta rapper) is Jessi Malay. I have been lucky enough to have gotten to know her in the last couple of years and have found her to be more than just a “pop” singer. […]Continue »

Top 5 Japanese Americans You Don’t Want to Mess With

Top 5 Japanese Americans You Don’t Want to Mess WithOne Asian American stereotype is that we’re all meek and quiet. I’ve never been that guy. I’m loud and not afraid to say what’s on my mind.  And I’m not the only one. There have been loud and proud Asian Americans since we got here. Here are my Top 5 Japanese Americans who will once and for all put the whole timid Asian stereotype to death. In fact, they will blow it out of the […] Continue »

The Chinese Bootlegged “The People I’ve Slept With,” The Movie I Wrote

The Chinese Bootlegged "The People I’ve Slept With," The Movie I WroteIt started when a friend who was visiting China emailed me and told me that he saw an illegal bootlegged copy of my last film, The People I’ve Slept With.  I told him to take a picture of it but when he went back it was already gone. I admit, I didn’t believe him. I mean, who in the world would want to pirate a copy of my indie Asian American movie? And then recently […] Continue »

Did Bruce Lee Have An Undescended Testicle?

Did Bruce Lee Have An Undescended Testicle?Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I LOVE Bruce Lee. When I was a kid he made me feel like Asian American boys could be more than the awkward guy lusting after the girl (which was pretty much the only representation of Asian American men on television/film at the time). For once, the badass kinda looked like me. But when one of the 8Asians editors brought to my attention that Bruce […]Continue »

Top 10 Iconic Japanese American Photos

Top 10 Iconic Japanese American PhotosWalt Disney once said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Pictures tell a story that even the best writer’s words could never fully describe. That’s saying a lot coming from a writer. I wanted to “tell” the story of Japanese Americans. Here are my top 10 iconic pictures that tell my story.  […]Continue »

What You Do Reflects Badly On All of Us

What You Do Reflects Badly On All of UsI admit that I cringe whenever I see or hear of an Asian Pacific Islander (API) doing something stupid, embarrassing, or downright immoral and unlawful. I always feel as though it reflects badly on myself. Like when that kid shot up his college in Virginia. Or that guy that was involved in the Barry Bonds homerun baseball lawsuit (too obscure?). Or even something smaller, the bad driver or the tourist taking photos of everything. Or […] Continue »

Why Jeremy Lin Isn’t Really Asian

Why Jeremy Lin Isn’t Really AsianThe first time I heard about Jeremy Lin was when he was playing for Harvard a few years ago. There was a lot of buzz about him (especially on Asian American blogs) because people assumed he was Asian. I didn’t say anything back then but I had my doubts that he really WAS Asian. Now that he’s an international phenomenon, the starting point guard for the New York Knicks, and the spokesperson for Volkswagen I […] Continue »

8Questions With Make Believe Review

8Questions With Make Believe ReviewPeople often think that the Internet has destroyed literature. But Kai Wu doesn’t think that’s necessarily the case. That’s why she started, Make Believe Review, a website dedicated to showcasing short stories from various writers. Full disclosure, Kai is a friend of mine and she did showcase one of my short stories. But the reason I’m writing about her new website is because I believe in the importance of telling good stories. I believe  fiction […] Continue »

Who Is The Asian Woman Sitting Courtside At Lakers Home Games?

Who Is The Asian Woman Sitting Courtside At Lakers Home Games?If you’ve watched as many Lakers games as I have, you’ve probably noticed that three seats to the right of Jack Nicholson for the past 20+ years sits an older Asian woman. She’s become somewhat of an Internet “celebrity.” She has her own Facebook page and even our friends over at Disgrasian mentioned her. If you’ve never been to a Lakers home game, you might not know that being at the Staples Center during a […] Continue »

Why East Of Eden’s Lee Is My Favorite Asian American Character in Literature

Why East Of Eden's Lee Is My Favorite Asian American Character in LiteratureMy favorite pre-Asian American studies, pre-Asian American power, pre-civil rights fictional Asian American character is Lee from East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck. East of Eden is a long epic novel. So it’s difficult to try to encapsulate the entire story in a few short sentences. The best I could find was from the Oprah Book Club: “Three generations, two love triangles, one timeless story. East of Eden is an epic novel full of good […] Continue »

Asian Pubic Hair Questions

Asian Pubic Hair QuestionsWhile doing research on Asians and body hair (Click here to read that article) I was fascinated to find that people on the Internet had a lot of interesting (mis)conceptions about Asian people’s pubic hair. Rather than trying to fit it all onto one hair related article, I decided to write a second article only about the hair no one really likes (or is it wants?) to talk about. But as an Asian American “journalist,” […]Continue »

Do Asians Have Body Hair?

Do Asians Have Body Hair?Growing up, the only time I ever felt insecure about being Asian American was when my non-Asian friends made fun of me for lacking body hair. At the time, I had no hair on my legs, chest, or forearms. They on the other hand had hair everywhere – including their backs! I desperately wanted body hair. I even considered shaving my legs to help facilitate hair growth there. I didn’t know this until I started […] Continue »

Top Five Civil Rights Villains You Should Know About

Top Five Civil Rights Villains You Should Know AboutFebruary 19 will mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Executive Order eventually led to the unconstitutional incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. In previous articles, I have chosen to commemorate this inauspicious anniversary by writing about non-Asian American and Japanese American women civil rights heroes. But every hero needs a villain. And not all villains wear masks. Sometimes they are the people that either don’t […] Continue »

What LA Thinks Japanese Food Is Vs. What Japanese Really Eat

What LA Thinks Japanese Food Is Vs. What Japanese Really EatI admit that when I first saw the title of this LA Weekly article, “L.A.’s Idea of Japanese Food vs. What Japanese Really Eat,” I wanted to hate on it. Say that the writer Andrew Froug was wrong and didn’t know what he was talking about. However, no matter how many times I read the article, I couldn’t find anything that I disagreed with. So instead of doing that, let’s just say that this is […] Continue »

What I Learned From Posting A Dragon Lady Personal Ad

What I Learned From Posting A Dragon Lady Personal AdI’ve always been curious what it would be like to be an Asian American woman on a dating website. So I decided to put up my own ad. But what kind of Asian American woman should I be? And then inspiration hit me: I should be a stereotype. But what kind of stereotype should I be? Geisha? Dragon lady? Both? I decided being a dragon lady would be more fun than being a geisha. And […] Continue »

Top Five Japanese American Women Civil Rights Pioneers You Should Know

Top Five Japanese American Women Civil Rights Pioneers You Should KnowIn California, January 30 was officially Fred Korematsu Day. It is important to honor and remember Korematsu but I believe it is also a time to look back at some of the other Japanese Americans (JAs) who also fought for the rights of not just JAs but all Americans. Unfortunately, Japanese American women don’t get enough credit for their contributions to the civil rights movement. I want to change that. So I created a list […] Continue »

The Top Non-Asian Civil Rights Heroes For Japanese Americans

The Top Non-Asian Civil Rights Heroes For Japanese AmericansAfter Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, there was only one national organization that was willing to stand up for the rights of Japanese Americans (JAs). They were the Quakers. Not only did they speak out against the unconstitutional incarceration of JAs they helped many of the Nisei (second generation) kids go to college. Even though the Quakers were the only national group, there were some brave individuals who spoke out for the rights of Japanese Americans. […]Continue »

Do Asians Have the Smallest Testicle?

Do Asians Have the Smallest Testicle?My 8Asians New Years resolution was to “continue to look for body parts on Asian Americans that I can objectify.” A friend on Facebook commented that she didn’t think I could find another body part to write about (since I’ve already written about Asian vaginas, breasts, penises, and butts). But she gives me too little credit. There are lots more body parts I can still write about! Today, I want to discuss the male testicle. […] Continue »

How To Be A Bad Asian: I Think All East Asian Babies Look The Same

How To Be A Bad Asian: I Think All East Asian Babies Look The SameLife is hard enough as an Asian. Not all of us can get perfect SAT scores, graduate from medical school or trick out a Honda Civic. The pressure to embrace our culture remains but sometimes, we just don’t want to. How To Be A Bad Asian is an ongoing series of personal essays by the 8Asians writers about what sets us apart from the API community, how we deal with the stereotypes that we put […] Continue »

Civil Rights Hero Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi Passes Away

Civil Rights Hero Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi Passes AwayMost people think that all the Japanese Americans went meekly into the concentration camps during World War II. But that’s far from the truth. In reality, there were some brave individuals that put themselves out there to test the constitutionality of the exclusion order. One of those people is Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi, who unfortunately passed away yesterday. Mr. Hirabayashi is my hero. I don’t use that term lightly. While most people are familiar with the […] Continue »

70th Anniversary of the Signing of Executive Order 9066

70th Anniversary of the Signing of Executive Order 90662012 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. For those of you who don’t know, 9066 was the order that eventually led to the unconstitutional incarceration of the Japanese American during World War II. It was signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. Here’s a quote from the order: “…from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person […] Continue »

Top 5 Favorite Things About Japanese New Years

Top 5 Favorite Things About Japanese New YearsBesides Groundhog Day, my favorite holiday is New Years. I look forward to it every year. I always forget though that most people (in America) just think it’s a day to watch football and the Rose Parade. For those who don’t know, New Years or oshogatsu in Japan (and for Japanese Americans) is the most important and elaborate holiday of the year. Japanese Americans (JAs) have lost much of the Japanese part of their culture. […] Continue »

Top 10 “Asian” Christmas Ornaments

Top 10 "Asian" Christmas Ornaments It’s the holidays so I decided to forgo the hard hitting “research” based articles I usually write (The Science and History of the Asian Squat Or Do All Asians Have Flat Butts?) to bring to you something more in the spirit of the season: Christmas ornaments. Specifically, Asian “inspired” ornaments. I admit that when I started to research this article I thought I’d find more overtly racist ornaments. Something I could get upset about. (Maybe […] Continue »

Is Santa Asian?

Is Santa Asian?As I’ve mentioned in other articles, I work for the Japanese American National Museum here in Los Angeles. My job is to plan the public programs. One of my more popular programs is Target Family Free Saturday, which is a day where we have crafts, performances, and workshops for families. A couple of years ago, I did a “take a picture with a Japanese American Santa” event, thinking it’d be fun.  To my surprise, it […] Continue »

A Response To New York Times’ “The How of an Internment, but Not All the Whys”

A Response To New York Times' "The How of an Internment, but Not All the Whys"[Author’s note: Although I am employed by the Japanese American National Museum, this article should not be construed as coming from the National Museum. Instead, this article is my personal opinion and should be taken as such.] On December 9, 2011 the New York Times published an article titled, “The How of an Internment, but Not All the Whys,” by Edward Rothstein. This article is not only offensive but worse, it is ignorant. It is […] Continue »

What Do White Supremacists Think of Asians?

What Do White Supremacists Think of Asians?A Japanese American veteran of the Second World War told me a story that always stuck in my head. He said that while he was training in the South, he and his fellow Japanese American soldiers went into a restaurant to go to the bathroom. Of course, the bathrooms back then were segregated. Having grown up on the West Coast, he wasn’t sure which bathroom he was supposed to use. He eventually decided to go […] Continue »

8Questions with Claire Mix, Producer/Writer/Director of Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story

8Questions with Claire Mix, Producer/Writer/Director of Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix StoryThe first national organization to speak out against the illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was the Quakers. The Quakers have a long standing commitment to progressive causes. Many don’t know this but they were one of the first groups to fight to abolish slavery and have advocated for women’s rights and later civil rights as well. (To see some of the causes they are currently fighting for, click here.) Although the […] Continue »

How ‘Chink,’ My New Movie, Came Together

How 'Chink,' My New Movie, Came TogetherMeet Eddy Tsai. He grew up the only Asian in his neighborhood and was bullied all his life. He has come to hate being Asian. He’s even changed his last name to “Richards” and lies that he was adopted by Caucasian parents. His hate for himself is only eclipsed by the hate he feels for other Asians. Eddy’s lifelong dream is to become a serial killer, like his hero Ted Bundy. He has spent years […] Continue »

Are there Japanese American Concentration Camp Deniers?

Are there Japanese American Concentration Camp Deniers?I spend a lot of time on the Internet trying to find crazy people. I get a sick thrill reading their ramblings and trying to understand where they are coming from. I feel it’s my duty as a writer on 8Asians to “research” these sites so that you don’t have to. So last week I decided to look for websites that argued the Japanese American concentration camps during World War II was some kind of […] Continue »

Asian (Un)Motivational Posters

Asian (Un)Motivational PostersYou’ve probably seen them. A “cute” picture with a “clever” quote about life. They are posters that are meant to be motivational but they just make you feel sad because they are either cliche  or lame. Most likely both.  I prefer the (un)motivational posters. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, they are the evil step brother of the “normal” motivational variety. They have the picture and the quote but they […] Continue »

#DarkRoom Mixtape by Deep Watters

#DarkRoom Mixtape by Deep WattersUnderground hip hop music producer Deep Watters, AKA: Brian Watters, a hapa from the San Francisco Bay Area and President of the urban clothing label Teruo Artistry, recently dropped a dope mixtape, #darkroom, with Bay Area rapper Prophet. If you like hip hop, then you’ll be sure to like this. Deep Watters’ beats are dark but catchy. Prophet talks about hip hop standards like smoking out and making money but he also talks about the […] Continue »

Do All Asians Have Flat Butts?

Do All Asians Have Flat Butts?I like big butts and I can not lie You other brothers can’t deny – SIR MIX-A-LOT, “Baby Got Back” Every time I hear those lyrics, I cringe. Why? Because I admit that I have a flat butt. Please, no jokes. I’m a little sensitive about it. Once I asked an ex-girlfriend if she thought I had a nice ass and she said I had a wonderful personality. I should have known then that the […]Continue »

Do Submissive Asian Women Exist?

Do Submissive Asian Women Exist?Watching my wife give birth to my beautiful son, I was amazed and impressed by her strength and courage. This got me thinking about the whole submissive Asian woman stereotype – which if Yahoo! Answers is to be trusted, people in the world still believe. Here is an example of one such question: What makes Asian girls so submissive? […]Continue »

Dealing With Asian Names And Their Meanings

Dealing With Asian Names And Their MeaningsWhile my wife was pregnant, I wrote an article about choosing an ethnic specific name. Well, the baby is here and I went for it. I gave him my father’s full “ethnic” name – so his first name is Japanese, middle name is Western, and of course my last name. No one has told me that its too ethnic, which has been a little surprising. Everyone had an opinion — good and bad – before […] Continue »

8Questions with Frank Abe of Conscience and the Constitution

8Questions with Frank Abe of Conscience and the ConstitutionThe generally accepted Japanese American narrative goes something like this: We came to this country. There was discrimination. Then Pearl Harbor happened. We went peacefully to the concentration camps and then while there we remained docile and peaceful. Some fought bravely in Europe and helped win the respect of the country which 50 years later resulted in an reparations and an official apology. While a lot of that is true, there was also a group […] Continue »

8Questions with Fluff Ice & Their Taiwanese Shaved Ice!

8Questions with Fluff Ice & Their Taiwanese Shaved Ice!I don’t usually write reviews of restaurants but when actor and food blogger (and friend) Lynn Chen invited me to join her at Fluff Ice, a new dessert place in my area  (San Gabriel Valley, 626 in the house!), I jumped. She told me we were going to be eating at a new Taiwanese shaved ice restaurant that just opened. I have to be honest, I didn’t know what Taiwanese shaved ice was. I mean, […] Continue »

8Questions with Lucy Walker, Director of The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

8Questions with Lucy Walker, Director of The Tsunami and the Cherry BlossomBeing that my mother is from Japan, I feel a connection to that country that many Japanese Americans do not.  So when the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster hit in March, I felt it in my gut. I was worried not only about my relatives but also friends and strangers alike. At home, I made it point to take another look at my family’s earthquake disaster plan and make sure we all knew what to do. However, after […] Continue »

8Questions with Brian & Tim Watters of Teruo Artistry

8Questions with Brian & Tim Watters of Teruo ArtistryIf you’ve ever seen me in person, then you know that when I’m not dressed up for work I’m wearing Teruo Artistry clothes. I like it because it’s simple but hip, something I can wear to make me look a little less weird and awkward. I decided to interview brothers Brian and Tim Watters, the founders of the Teruo Artistry, who happen to be hapa (and my best friends). From their website, Teruo Artistry (pronounced […]Continue »

The Best Asian Related Questions on Yahoo! Answers Pt. 2

The Best Asian Related Questions on Yahoo! Answers Pt. 2Yahoo! Answers had so many “interesting” questions that I couldn’t fit it all onto one post. So here part 2 of my “favorite” Asian related questions.  […]Continue »

The Best Asian Related Questions on Yahoo! Answers

The Best Asian Related Questions on Yahoo! AnswersDear Internet, I love you and I want to have your baby. Just when I think I’ve seen everything you have to offer, you show me more. I am eternally grateful and completely in awe of your awesomeness. The other day, I was surfing Yahoo! Answers (what can I say, I was bored) and I started to notice some strange questions being asked about Asians. Here’s an example of one such question: “Can Asians fly?” […] Continue »

8Questions With Filmmaker Derek Shimoda, June Bride: Redemption of a Yakuza

8Questions With Filmmaker Derek Shimoda, June Bride: Redemption of a YakuzaOne of my favorite Asian American documentaries is The Killing of theChinese Fortune Cookie, so when I heard the filmmaker, Derek Shimoda, was making another doc, I wanted to find out more. I had an opportunity to sit down with Derek and ask him 8Questions. Derek Shimoda is a Los Angeles native. He produced the feature film In My Life as well as the acclaimed documentary Secret Asian Man, an official selection of the […] Continue »

The Difference Between Asian and Western Emoticons

The Difference Between Asian and Western EmoticonsI love emoticons. In every single email and text I write, I try to use them at least once. Whether it’s a business email or a break up text, it doesn’t matter. For example, in a business email I may write, “Sorry, I don’t have the widgets! : ( “ And in a break up text, I may write, “I’m glad I never have to see you again. : )” First, for those of you […] Continue »

My Top 10 Asian Dog Breeds

My Top 10 Asian Dog BreedsI love dogs. Probably more than people. Actually, I love my dog, Rabbit (that’s him in the above picture) much more than people. Let’s put it this way, if Rabbit was trapped in a fire and almost anyone else were also trapped in the fire, I would walk over that person to get to my dog. Only when he was safe would I consider going back inside. If you have a pet, you know what […]Continue »

Are Asian Themed Parties Racist?

Are Asian Themed Parties Racist?Part of my day job is to put on public events so I’m constantly looking for new party ideas. One popular party idea (at least according to the Internet) is an “Asian” themed party. The first time I heard about such a theme party, I cringed. […] Continue »

Screenwriting, Race & Authenticity

Screenwriting, Race & AuthenticityIs it okay for a person who is non-Japanese American to write about the Japanese American (JA) experience? My immediate reaction is no. I’m sick of other people writing my history and stories. I’m sick of having my culture hijacked, even by those who have the best of intentions. Can a person who is non-Japanese American capture what it is like to be Japanese American in a true and authentic way? My immediate reaction again […] Continue »

Do All Asians Really Look Alike?

Do All Asians Really Look Alike?Do all Asians look alike? Where does such a stereotype come from? I’ve recently spent a lot of time studying other Asian folks (especially Japanese people) to see if there are any similarities between me and them. Personally, I think I look pretty damn unique — and handsome, my mother always tells me so at least! The other day I decided to look into this. A quick Google search brought me to a lot of […] Continue »

The Difference Between Internment Camps and Concentration Camps

The Difference Between Internment Camps and Concentration Camps[Author’s note: Although I am employed by the Japanese American National Museum, this article should not be construed as coming from the National Museum. Instead, this article is my personal opinion and should be taken as such.] Over the last month, I have posted articles about my grandfather and what happened to him during the Second World War. Much of my grandfather’s story was not unique. Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were illegally incarcerated during the […] Continue »

Screenwriting & Writing Race

Screenwriting & Writing RaceTake a look at the image below: Do you see the gray blobs? Those gray blobs are tricks of the eye and don’t really exist. This illusion is known as the Herrmann Grid. Why do I show you this? Because I think of the grid every time I write a screenplay. Let me explain…[…] Continue »

Was Jesus Asian?

Was Jesus Asian?I recently saw a painting of Jesus. He had blue eyes and blond hair. Did the real Jesus really have blond hair and blue eyes? I started to think about some of the other images of Jesus I’ve seen.  […] Continue »

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Postscript, Part 5 of 5

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Postscript, Part 5 of 5Even though my grandparents and their children were allowed to stay in the United States, it wasn’t until 1958 did they get their citizenship back. The World War II experience probably affected my grandparents in ways that I could never know. I have heard that my grandmother would cry when people asked her about the camps. This is probably why no one in my family discussed those years and it wasn’t until I started working […] Continue »

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: The Decision, Part 4 of 5

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: The Decision, Part 4 of 5When the war ended, my grandparents requested that they not be sent to Japan, despite the fact that they had renounced their citizenship. However, once a person willingly gives up their citizenship, it’s not easy to get it back. The following is the end of a FBI report on whether the family should be allowed to stay or not. […] Continue »

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Renunciant, Part 3 of 5

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Renunciant, Part 3 of 5After my grandparents answered “No No” to questions 27 and 28, the whole family was sent to Tule Lake, Northern California. A camp that was designated for “bad” Japanese Americans – in other words those who had answered the loyalty questionnaire negatively or had caused “trouble.” It was in Tule Lake that my grandparents, and thousands of Japanese Americans like them, willingly gave up their American citizenship and asked to be sent to Japan. His […] Continue »

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: No No, Part 2 of 5

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: No No, Part 2 of 5In Part 1, my grandfather, Takaichi Sakai, was arrested and investigated by the FBI. An Internee Hearing Board in February 1943 ordered that he be “interned for the duration of the war.” A few weeks later, the Military Governor had him sent to a “relocation center” on the Mainland. My grandmother, Sato Sakai, was given the opportunity to stay in Hawaii or accompany her husband to prison camps on the mainland. Her trouble with her […] Continue »

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Crimes, Part 1 of 5

The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Crimes, Part 1 of 5He burned sensitive files while working for a foreign government. He said that he was not willing to fight for the United States and would not give up his allegiance to a foreign power during a time of war. He renounced his American citizenship. Who was this enemy of the United States? He was my grandfather on my dad’s side. Having died before I was born, he was and has always been an enigma to […]Continue »

Do Asian White Supremacists Exist?

Do Asian White Supremacists Exist?Every couple of weeks I Google “Asian White Supremacist” because I’m always hoping to find an Asian white supremacist to interview. The world is so big and there are so many messed up people, there has to be at least one Asian white supremacist out there. Or at least I can hope. Usually when I search “Asian White Supremacist” Google spits back two types of sites: racist websites/groups that spew anti-Asian rants or groups fighting […] Continue »

Asian Belly Buttons: Are You An Innie or Outie?

Asian Belly Buttons: Are You An Innie or Outie?My wife and I are expecting a child at the end of the year. We’ve started to discuss things like what type of crib we want to buy, whether we should circumcise or not, and what kind of college they should go to when they turn 10. The one question that my wife and I hadn’t discussed was innie or outie belly button. So I asked her, what do we want? […]Continue »

Does Race Exist?

Does Race Exist? I’ve spent the last year writing about Asian stereotypes on the Internet. In one of my recent articles, I asked the question: “Are Asians the Smartest Race?” As I was researching this question, I kept reading that race doesn’t really exist and that it is just a social construct. Could this be true? Is race really something that WE created to separate ourselves from each other? Or is race real? Are there biological differences between […]Continue »

8Questions with DANakaDAN of afterschoolspecial

8Questions with DANakaDAN of afterschoolspecialWhen I was a kid, Asian Americans in hip hop was about as common as a unicorns. They just didn’t exist. It wasn’t until Mountain Brothers in 1999 did I see someone that kinda looked like me rapping. The moment that changed everything was when Jin went on BET and won the freestyle battle. I knew then that we would one day have a voice in hip hop. If you’ve never seen Jin’s BET appearance, […] Continue »

The Science and History of the Asian Squat

The Science and History of the Asian SquatThe Asian squat. I’ve always been able to do it naturally. For those of you who don’t know, the Asian squat is when you have both feet on the ground, butt touching ankles and knees spread wide. I’ve always done it but the first time I really noticed others doing it was when I went to Bali. Every street I walked down, there were lines and lines of men and women doing the Asian squat […] Continue »

Are Asians the Smartest Race?

Are Asians the Smartest Race?I have to be honest, I didn’t want to write this article. It’s such a touchy subject but the more I looked into it the more I realized that it is something we SHOULD talk about. I promise that I’m not going to make jokes. In fact, I’m going to cut and paste most of the article and cite/link as much as possible. I’ll offer my opinion in the end and I welcome your thoughts […]Continue »

Internet Quizzes: How Asian Are You?

Internet Quizzes: How Asian Are You?Every year during Asian-Pacific American Heritage month I wonder how Asian American I really am. This year I decided to find out. I spent an entire afternoon taking Internet quizzes to test my inner-Asianness.[…] Continue »

Why Are Asians Yellow?

Why Are Asians Yellow?African Americans are black. Caucasians are white. Latinos are brown. But why are Asians yellow? When I look at my skin, it doesn’t look yellow to me. If anything, it looks olive and if I’ve been in the sun at all, it’s brown. So if I’m not yellow-skinned, where does that idea come from? Because I’m constantly interested in racial stereotypes, I decided to do some Internet research on the origins of skin color, specifically […] Continue »

Mother’s Day with 8Asians: My Mother, My Anchor

Mother's Day with 8Asians: My Mother, My Anchor8Asians is celebrating Mother’s Day all week (Pssst…Don’t forget, it’s May 8th!) by doing what we do best: writing about the women who raised us, nurtured us, taught us, spoiled us, protected us and occasionally for some, drove us up the wall. We love our moms and wanted to share personal stories as a tribute to their hard work. My father died in my early twenties. His death devastated me in ways that I am […] Continue »

Support “A Woman Named Canyon Sam” By Director Quentin Lee

There are so many great Asian Pacific Islander American stories out there that need to be told and the story of Canyon Sam is one of them. For those of you who don’t know, Canyon Sam is an accomplished performance artist, published author and passionate activist. Canyon’s book Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History received PEN America Center’s Open Book Award in 2010 and she is also one of the first Asian […] Continue »

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

American Revolutionary – Indiegogo Pitch from American Revolutionary on Vimeo. With the proliferation of funding platforms like Kickstarter, I have been hit up countless times to pledge money to a project. Very rarely do I believe these projects warrant my time and money. However, once in a while one does, like Grace Lee’s documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. […]Continue

8Questions with SHOKORA’s Junichi Hernández Yoshikai

8Questions with SHOKORA's Junichi Hernández YoshikaiLast year I was lucky enough to be invited to Japan and meet with other Nikkei (Japanese migrants and their descendants) from around the world. As an Asian American, I admit I sometimes forget that there are people of Asian ancestry who live in Mexico. In fact, there are strong nikkei communities throughout the Americas. The biggest Nikkei population (outside of Japan) is in Brazil (with the United States coming in second). One of the […] Continue »

Natto: Food & Cultural Identity

Natto: Food & Cultural IdentityWhen I was a child, I wouldn’t eat anything that I thought was too “weird,” at least to my American sensibility. Of course, natto fell into that category. For those of you who don’t know, natto is fermented soybeans. Yes, fermented. It sounds about as appetizing as it looks and smells. My first generation mom used to say that “real” Japanese people eat natto. I think it was just a trick to get me to […] Continue »

Do Asian Women Have the Smallest Breasts?

Do Asian Women Have the Smallest Breasts?Since I’ve already written articles about Asian men and penis size and about Asian women and vagina size,  I figured I might as well go for the trifecta and write about Asian woman and breast size. So do Asian women have the smallest breasts of all the races? […] Continue »

Do Asian Women Have The Smallest Vaginas?

Do Asian Women Have The Smallest Vaginas?We in America are obsessed with the biggest. The Biggest Loser. The biggest thermometer. The biggest hamburger. Even on 8Asians, things aren’t that different. The most popular article I’ve ever written was about Asian men and penis size. Specifically, I addressed the common (mis)perception that Asian men have the smallest penises of all the races. I think this topic has been discussed to death, but just so we’re clear, there is NO relation between penis […] Continue »

Top Internet Dating Tips for Asian Men

Top Internet Dating Tips for Asian MenThere are thousands of internet sites dedicated to “help” Asian men find dates. From the sheer number of sites, you would think we were all shut-ins, losers and helpless awkward shy weirdos who couldn’t put a coherent sentence together that didn’t involve computer code. Thankfully, I am married so I don’t have to worry about this but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help the single Asian men amongst you. As a public service […] Continue »

Do Asians Hate Asian Americans?

Do Asians Hate Asian Americans?I was reading the Los Angeles Times earlier and came across an article about Gary Locke’s nomination as ambassador to China and the feelings of the Chinese toward a Chinese American like Locke. It struck a nerve with me and got me thinking: Do Asians — in Asia — hate Asian Americans?  […] Continue »

A Response to Slaying the Dragon Reloaded

A Response to Slaying the Dragon Reloaded[EDITORS NOTE: Koji is a writer and producer for the movie The People I’ve Slept With.] Quentin Lee, my friend and the director of my film, The People I’ve Slept With, wrote an article on the API blog, You Offend Me You Offend My Family that I think everyone should read. It is a response to a new documentary, Slaying the Dragon Reloaded that will be premiering at the San Francisco International Asian American Film […] Continue »

Ask an Asian: Are the Majority of Young Japanese Americans Part White?

Ask an Asian: Are the Majority of Young Japanese Americans Part White?Every so often, we here at 8Asians get e-mails asking for advice. Here is one such e-mail received last week: I found this quote on Andrew Sullivan’s blog: “a large majority of Japanese-Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s have one non-Japanese parent, usually of European origin.” Any idea if this is true? The simple answer is yes. But let’s examine the data, after the jump. […] Continue »

Asian and Asian American Serial Killers

Asian and Asian American Serial KillersI’ve always been fascinated by serial killers. There’s something both creepy and scary about them. To me, they are symbols of the worst humans can do but proof that most of us aren’t THAT bad. Because this is 8Asians, I thought I’d do some research on Asian/Asian American serial killers.[…] Continue »

8Questions: Gina Hiraizumi, Actress/Singer

8Questions: Gina Hiraizumi, Actress/SingerGina Hiraizumi is one of the hardest working people in Hollywood. I’ve been a big fan of her from afar but recently we were both invited to Japan for a conference and I found out that not only is she super talented but also one of the most down to earth and funny people I know.  […] Continue »

“Asian” According to Urbandictionary.com

"Asian" According to Urbandictionary.comOn a lark, I decided to look up “Asian” and found 292 different entries. As you can probably imagine, many many many of them are racist and not worth repeating here. However, to my surprise, some are funny, others disgusting, most are about sex, and some of them are downright strange and had little to no connection with actual Asians.[…] Continue »

8Questions: Akira Uchimura of the Nikkei Youth Network

8Questions: Akira Uchimura of the Nikkei Youth Network One of the people I met on my recent trip to Japan was Akira Uchimura, the Executive Director of the Nikkei Youth Network. He brought together a whole bunch of Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) from all over the world for a conference about Nikkei issues. Being one of the most interesting people I know, I sat down with Akira for a few minutes and got to know him better. These are the eight questions […]Continue »

 Peace Boat: Japanese Americans Travel the World With Other Nikkeis

Peace Boat: Japanese Americans Travel the World With Other NikkeisThe Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment, on a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on global voyages. […]Continue »

Asian Americans and Lowered Cars

Asian Americans and Lowered CarsWhen I was in high school, all I wanted for Christmas was a lowered Honda Civic or Acura Integra. The ones that hug the ground so closely you have to drive sideways over a speed bump. The ones that have the fancy rims, the big exhaust pipe, and the tinted windows. I know, I know… An Asian American guy driving a lowered “Asian” car is very stereotypical, but I didn’t care! I begged my parents […] Continue »

How To Be A Bad Asian: I Love Red Dawn

How To Be A Bad Asian: I Love Red DawnLife is hard enough as an Asian. Not all of us can get perfect SAT scores, graduate from medical school or trick out a Honda Civic. The pressure to embrace our culture remains but sometimes, we just don’t want to. How To Be A Bad Asian is an ongoing series of personal essays by the 8Asians writers about what sets us apart from the API community, how we deal with the stereotypes that we put […] Continue »

Nikkei Spirit: My Experiences at a Nikkei Youth Leader’s Summit

Nikkei Spirit: My Experiences at a Nikkei Youth Leader's Summit(EDITORS NOTE: This article was originally published on Discover Nikkei. Reprinted with permission.) I remember as a child knowing that I didn’t look “American” and because of that sometimes I didn’t feel “American” either. As a person of color living in the United States, these truths are self-evident, even if no one has ever said it to my face. And a part of me always felt like I was Japanese who just happened to live […] Continue »

Series of Web Pages Convinced Asians are Aliens from Outer Space

Series of Web Pages Convinced Asians are Aliens from Outer SpaceExtra! Extra! Read All About It! Asians are Aliens! […] Continue »

8Questions: Dyana Liu of Cartoon Network’s Tower Prep

8Questions: Dyana Liu of Cartoon Network's Tower PrepPeople complain that there aren’t enough Asian Pacific Islanders on TV. And it’s true. So when someone actually makes it, we should celebrate and recognize them. That’s why I’d like to highlight the über talented and beautiful Dyana Liu. She is the newest star of the Cartoon Network’s second live-action show Tower Prep. Her character, Suki Sato, is NOT the stereotypical dragon lady, geisha, or awkward nerd (although her character is very intelligent). She’s as three dimensional Asian American female as I’ve seen on television for a long time.  […] Continue »

ID Film Fest at The Japanese American National Museum

ID Film Fest at The Japanese American National MuseumThree years ago, director Quentin Lee and I started a film festival here in Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum. We wanted to showcase films by Asian Pacific Islander (API) filmmakers for API filmmakers. This year we have three days of exciting movies, an API filmmaker’s conference, and workshops! 3rd Annual ID Film Festival Dates: October 8 through 10, 2010 Japanese American National Museum (369 East First St, Los Angeles, CA 90012) The […] Continue »

Air Doll, the Japanese Film About a Sex Doll That Comes to Life

Air Doll, the Japanese Film About a Sex Doll That Comes to LifeAir Doll is a Japanese feature film that will be opening this weekend in San Francisco and Berkeley. It is a story about an inflatable sex doll that comes to life and tries to make sense of the new and often very sad human world around her.  […] Continue »

Asian Food in the San Gabriel Valley

Asian Food in the San Gabriel ValleyI was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV). […] Continue »

Looking for Love on Asian Bride Websites

Looking for Love on Asian Bride WebsitesI always see advertisements about Asian brides when I Google anything related to Asians. Every once in a while, when I’m bored, I’ll check them out. […] Continue »

The Jon Gosselin Story: Asian Men and Penis Size

The Jon Gosselin Story: Asian Men and Penis Size I’ve been fascinated by penis-gate, you know the recent “controversy” about how Kate Gosselin joked that Jon’s penis was “stubby” and how his ex-girlfriend Hailey Glassman said that he had a “tiny, tiny, tiny,” penis. […] Continue »

Was Dr. Seuss a Racist?

Was Dr. Seuss a Racist?This has nothing to do with anything going on now, but think of this as a public service announcement. Dr. Seuss was a racist. Yes, the lovable creator of all those wonderful children’s books was bigoted. […] Continue »

This MLK Weekend, A Trip to the Racial Slur Database

On Martin Luther King Holiday, it is important for API’s to think about what kind of country we would be living in today had this great man not lived. […] Continue »

Oshogatsu: A Japanese New Years

Besides Groundhogs day, my favorite holiday is New Years. I look forward to it every year. I always forget though that most people just think it’s a day to watch football (or a day to recover from a night of partying). For those who don’t know, New Years or oshogatsu in Japan is the most important and elaborate holiday of the year. […] Continue »

The Restaurant That Serves Penis

With the holidays comes eating, especially if you’re Asian. We eat to celebrate the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. The holiday season is no different — with all this eating, I thought about a producer/reporter friend of mine, Adam Yamaguchi, who made a video about his trip to China and a restaurant that served only penis.  If you haven’t already seen it, check it out: Penis Restaurant: Vanguard. For Asians, this […] Continue »

Sarah Palin, Hawaii, and Our Imaginations

Sarah Palin, Hawaii, and Our ImaginationsI’m not going to even comment on Sarah Palin. It is too easy. I try not to pick on people who are intellectually inferior. What I do want to discuss is her (and other people’s) conceptions of Hawaii. First, let’s do a mind exercise. Imagine you are in Hawaii. Honeymoon. Vacation. Whatever. Look around you. What do you see? Palm trees? Beaches? Clear skies? Paradise, right? Now focus on the people. What do they look […] Continue »

Is “Ninja Assassin” an Example of a Post-Ethnic Asian Film?

Over the weekend, I saw Ninja Assassin, the new movie starring the Korean pop star Rain. It was what you imagine it to be. Pretty cool action scenes surrounded by a bad story and horrendous acting. (Surprisingly, Rain’s acting wasn’t that bad. Maybe one of the better performances of the film.) None of this is why I am writing about Ninja Assassin today. What interested me most is whether this is an example of a […] Continue »

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