Thursday Apr 24

A Note on Cultural Appropriation: Hello Kitty by Avril Lavigne


Generasian is an engaging, dynamic community that seeks to have a relationship with its readers. Part of that relationship constitutes (unfortunately) having to respond to comments like the below. 


We received this message shortly after the publication of our piece by Jo regarding Avril Lavigne (or her managers’) choice to follow the hot trend of cultural appropriation in her newest music video, ‘Hello Kitty’. Below is a sampling of her lyrics:

Come come Kitty Kitty
You’re so pretty pretty
Don’t go Kitty Kitty
Stay with me
Come come Kitty Kitty
You’re so silly silly
Don’t go Kitty Kitty
Play with me

Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you’re so pretty
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you’re so silly


While we think that the notion of cultural appropriation is all-too-applicable in this case, comments like the one we received have been spotted all over the net, including from Avril’s own mouth:

RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.”

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Friday Dec 6

EXPOSURE : Chino Otsuka


Chino Otsuka is a Japanese native that moved to the United Kingdom at a young age. This dynamic transition is reflected within a lot of her work, which includes both internationally-renowned art and writing. Otsuka’s impressive portfolio includes Imagine Finding Me, a series of self-portraiture photographs that show her present self next to her younger images as an exploration of memory and time. 

“The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” -Otsuka

This theme is extended in Otsuka’s other works, such as the video series Memoriography, the project Photo Album, and earlier worksSummer and TOKYO 4-3-4-506. Check out those works here!

Tuesday Nov 12

EXPOSURE : Mariko Mori


This week, EXPOSURE is featuring Mariko Mori. She is a contemporary Japanese photographer and videographer. Her work reflects the meditative feel of Japan Society and ambitiously portrays “the birth of the life force, the present-day rupture of humankind from nature, and the potential for the reemergence of creative energy.” 

Make sure to check out her Rebirth exhibition through Jan. 12 at Japan Society, 333 East 47th St.

The show features some 35 items in all, including sculptures, works on paper, photographs, video and sound pieces. Mori leads off the first section by wedding an artifact from Japan’s prehistoric Jomon period—an intricate clay pot—with a collection of Lucite “stones” colored by LEDs; picture a sound-and-light show at Stonehenge, emanating from within the monuments themselves. More effectively, Mori’s installation White Holeinvites viewers to crawl inside its darkened interior (a womblike rotunda) and commune with a circular fixture hovering above. It appears for all the world like a UFO ready to beam you aboard, or maybe a moonlit cloud, glowing against a blackened sky. Somehow, it’s no surprise to learn that the artist created the work in collaboration with an astrophysicist. -Barbara Pollack

Also, you can check out more of her recent work here

Tuesday Oct 29

EXPOSURE : Audrey Kawasaki



Audrey Kawasaki’s paintings are all centered around the portraiture of a girl with very realistic facial features. She claims these are not self-portraits, but rather, are a type of alter-ego.

The figures she paints are seductive and contain an air of melancholy. They exist in their own sensually esoteric realm, yet at the same time present a sense of accessibility that draws the observer to them. These mysterious young women captivate with the direct stare of their bedroom eyes. - Audrey’s website

Check out more of her work here!

Wednesday Jul 24

While Konapun, a Japanese toy which lets you make fake miniature food, is no longer being manufactured by Bandai, you can still get in on the awesome adorableness of konapun through these videos.

This video is a demonstration of a 1983 konapun ramen kit, complete with molds for tiny naruto and even a tiny knife to chop tiny scallions. Other konapun kits recreate everything from desserts to bento boxes, complete with tiny birthday candles and rice cooker!

Monday Jul 15

EATAKU: McDonald's Japan Quarter Pounder Jewelry


I’ve been a bit behind this month and only just discovered McDonald’s Japan’s new “Quarter Pounder Jewelry” July promotion. You see, every week this month, they’re taking the Quarter Pounder and dressing it up with special ingredients and charging 1000 yen, or about ten bucks. Each special burger…

Monday May 20

So happy its the last Monday of the school year : 3

Hey everyone! I’m sure you’re just all as happy to relax as I am. I thought that to break from the two previous more rock-heavy weeks, I’d feature the singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu this week. This song is called Furisodeshon. I first heard about Kyary from Generasian’s Art Editor Rachel Liu, and thus began my weird obsession with this song. At one point I was listening to it on repeat maybe 20 times a day. I know it sounds crazy but I just couldn’t stop > <

Since then I’ve toned it down a little but I still love this song so much. It’s inherently happy and uplifting, and the art direction is fantastic. I haven’t seen such a well-made music video in a while, The whimsicality and imaginative spirit are just perfect for the song and Kyary. Give it a listen! Everyone I’ve shown this song to has reacted pretty much the same way (as in disbelief) but I really think you’ll fall in love with it. As always, have a great week! And let me know what you think of the song :)

Friday May 17

Relax after finals with a cute bowl of Rilakkuma Curry!

Watch how to make it here!

(Source: james-because-i-dont-know, via daintypersnicketydingo)

Wednesday May 15

Another cute way to make your own omurice once you escape from the library after finals!


Pikachu Omelette Rice (Omurice) 簡単ピカチューオムライス Recipe

(via irresistableness)

Monday May 13

Monday again :3

Up this week is the fantastic song “Hybrid Rainbow” by Japanese alt-rock band the Pillows. Sometimes called the Japanese version of the Pixies, they’re the guys behind the FLCL (Fooly Cooly!) soundtrack. (Link to an anime video version of this song if you’re interested!) The guitar is delightfully twangy and melodic and this song is just the best. It always puts me in a great mood. Great way to get into them, I hope you like it! Have a great week.

Picture of the band for fun

Monday May 6

Another Monday means the end of this school year is even closer! Get ready to relax during the summer but don’t slack off, the last few weeks are crucial ^^

Today’s song is “Shissou” by Last Alliance (ラスト・アライアンス). It’s been one of my favorite Japanese songs ever since I heard it as the ending track for the popular anime Ouran High School Host Club. Though I’ve outgrown the series (mostly), my love for the song remains. The inspirational lyrics and heavy guitar will make you listen to it on repeat. If you’re feeling lazy the song is a great motivator. Enjoy and have a great week!

P.S. Sorry about the horrible video quality! Couldn’t find a better one.

Sunday Apr 14

Chew On This: Omurice



This week’s Chew on This looks at Omurice! A wasei-eigo of the words “omelet” and “rice,” omurice is a popular and iconic yoshoku dish found in Japanese home cooking and in western-style diners in Japan. The dish generally consists of chicken fried rice wrapped in a thin egg omelet and drizzled with ketchup, but there are many ways to add a unique twist to this simple dish.

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