Kato Ch. 2

I have never seen Fist of Fury, however I watched Enter the Dragon and I saw the expression on Bruce Lee that this chapter is describing.  I found it very interesting to watch him in action.  I don’t know much at all about Kung Fu, and I had never seen a Bruce Lee film before watching Enter the Dragon, but I still noticed his expression and genuine portrayal of Kung Fu in the film.  ”In other words, it is the totality of Bruce Lee’s artistic expression that is presented here as the basis of my political analysis.” (41)

I can’t talk about Fist of Fury, but I can talk about what I saw in Enter the Dragon.  What I saw was a very talented man who was portraying a character, but didn’t let that character or the movie or anything get in the way of making the Kung Fu as realistic as possible.  I think that is really hard to do in movies.  Everything is so dramatized, and even though the film was dramatized in some ways, Lee made sure to keep it true and genuine.

Dave Ch. 7 “A Woman Is Nothing”

I found this chapter to be very interesting.  The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books, and it was talked about in this chapter.  This chapter talked about Chinese women during the twentieth century, and how there have been many memoirs written about the time period.

There were a lot of changes to China during this century, and there were many Chinese women who broke away from their social and political boundaries and took on a new life.  Many of these memoirs portray Chinese women as having to endure “an overwhelming series of challenges that generations of Chinese women must confront and overcome.” (138)

I loved The Joy Luck Club so much because it’s about mother/daughter relationships; it’s about being a woman, and it’s about cultural differences and similarities.  In this chapter, it describes the importance of these memoirs and why the authors felt the need to write them, “‘It is my duty to try to understand my mother, to seek answers.  To ignore the past is too much like forgetting.  And to forget the past would be to dishonor my parents.’” (145)


The main things I took from these readings was a sense of validation. I have never known other academically minded Asians who focus on anti-oppressive …

Enter the Dragon thoughts

Enter the Dragon feels to me the epitome of “globalization” when it comes to the kungfu genre. It’s a film that everyone knows about (or at least knew, I’m not sure how much the newer generations are aware of this film) and it made such a splash that every martial arts film released afterwards had to be compared to it. Basically, it set the bar pretty high by creating a new standard for martial arts films, as well as putting Bruce Lee on the map as more of a superstar. While great action stars like Jackie Chan would follow, Bruce Lee is still considered to be the most iconic and you can feel his influence way more in hip hop. There’s an odd quote about the transference of stardom between Lee and Chan that goes “The hero is dead, the clown is born”, which basically means that after Lee’s death, Chan’s approach to martial arts films were very different and I think purists might have been put off by his funny antics and Buster Keaton-styled stunts. That quote was probably said out of spite, but there is a degree of truth due to how different Chan went about his films. While “the Clown is born” when Chan entered the scene, films like Police Story, Drunken Master, and Jackie Chan’s First Strike (among so many others) demonstrate Chan’s abilities in martial arts and combat, and show that this “clown” is a force to be reckoned with. While I would take Chan’s crazy stunts and brutal but funny fighting scenes over Bruce Lee’s work (although I love that as well), there’s something so iconic about Bruce Lee’s work that no other martial artist/actor could touch, and it’s the image of the dragon which Lee embodied and thus created an image that influenced so many for years to come, across all different kinds of art.

Steve Aoki

When it comes to privileged white kids going to raves and spending their parents money, Steve Aoki is a common name. He is an electro, house music DJ from Miami,Florida. His father was a former Japanese wrestler and the founder of the restaurant chain Benihana and his half sister is Devon Aoki, who played Suki in 2Fast 2Furious. I can’t say I listen to Aoki much, because I’m not really into the electro house music scene. The video below is my personal favorite song by him and the first song I heard by him.


Dave 2.16 Reading

“For many, race is skin deep, and , as such, race resides at the level of the visible…” (Dave pg. 276)

In Leilani Nishime’s chapter in Dave (Guilty Pleasures) she discusses racial outing and claiming, mainly focusing on Keanu Reeves. The idea is that we like to claim celebrities if our race is the same. Obviously, Reeves, who is part Asian, is a controversial celebrity to claim because he doesn’t ‘look Asian’. But what about the race you claim? That’s always been far more interesting to me.

I used to go to school with a girl named Kaisha who was mix raced. She was very loud and sassy and wore large hoop earrings almost everyday. I think my peers expected me to act more like her and were slightly thrown off when I took up snowboarding or when they’d catch me listening to Blink 182. I, on the other hand, always thought she acted very ‘black’ for lack of a better word. I came to my own assumption that maybe, Kaisha was over exaggerating her blackness because it isn’t as apparent as mine. What I mean is that I never felt the need to ‘act black’. You can see I’m black just by looking at me. Kaisha on the other hand? Honestly, you could look at her and come up with about ten different race possibilities. So maybe she just wanted us to know her race for sure.

Hiram Perez’s chapter in Dave (How to Rehabilitate a Mulatto) focuses on Tiger Woods, who identifies as ‘Cablinasian’. He is a mix of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian. His word for his race resulted in backlash from the black community who felt he was discounting or not fully claiming his blackness.

Clearly, race is important when it comes to identity. But why? Why do we feel the need to prove or explain what we are to people? And should we? My whole life, I’ve identified as black or African American. I’m sure that there is more in me than African but I don’t know for sure. I’ve never felt the need to find out what I am. Is race only skin deep? Should it depend on what country you were born in? Or does it depend on what country your great-great-great-great grandparents were born?

A self reflected evaluation

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
― Bruce Lee

In life, you must absorb what you need in order to grow. However, in doing this, you shouldn’t forget where you came from. Some can say that this can also be applied to pop culture. In this class, I have become more aware of the history of Asian Americans in the U.S. that isn’t usually told while also analyzing the popular culture of today and making connections with these and my own passion for the time being.

That is the key to popular culture; making connections through time. To be able to see that the popular culture of the past isn’t always different as you think from the popular culture of now. We explored the origins of the trope known as the Dragon Lady, placed on Asian/American actresses in film, the stereotype of the overachieving smart Asian student, and websites like alllooksame.com. We learned to analyze things in a new way using our hello kitty lunchboxes; an item of time can be an ipod, used to measure time based on when a song ends. And letter can be a movie used to show your appreciation for a popular culture that is from a different shore.

With class, I began to grow curious, delving further and further into the cosplay community. I found out that, just like with popular culture, not everything is as it first seems. There are so many problems going on; inequality among cosplayers, elitism, and public harassment (sexual and otherwise). Even with events like Cosplay World Summit, which is an event that supports the coming together of many different cultures for a common passion, these problems continue to persist. This is something I refuse to let continue, one person can make all the difference.

Though, you can only do so much when you already have too much on your plate. Unfortunately, I overestimated myself and took on way more than I could handle. This caused my work to slip along with my health, and gradually I fell into a hole that I couldn’t get out of. Looking back, I should have talked to my faculty and been more inclined to ask my classmates for assistance. With all of the challenges I faced this quarter, I’m relieved I was able to make it until the end.

As I continue with my higher education, I will remember these notes:

  • History is usually told by the victor. Try listening to the victim instead.
  • Use your “supapawa” to be the change you seek.
  • Popular culture is an ever-evolving concept that is enhanced and widely received by society.
  • I may not know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to do everything and then some. Set your priorities and manage your time wisely.
  • It is ok to not be ok and ask for help, communication is key.

“Alllooksame”? Dave Ch. 13

First off, I was surprised to have read that there is a website called “alllooksame.com” and that there is a test that requires the user to guess if the photographs of Asian faces that are shown are Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Well I took the exam just to see what it was about, and it was very difficult to be able to distinguish whether or not the face is of Chinese, Japanese or Korean descent. I started thinking…what about the other ethnic groups of Asia? Those were left out of the exam. I just thought it was interesting to have a test, I mean what does that say about the world?…The fact that people feel that we have to have this test. Furthermore, after having to read over the term “Asian American” made me think of why is the term so generalized when there are a variety of groups within the Asian race. Shouldn’t we cherish the uniqueness of each ethnicity within the Asian group? Especially within America…as it is supposed to be such a huge melting pot with so many different cultures, races, and ethnicity.  Is that what makes it hard for America to really get past this never ending cycle of racism?

“And if you’re wondering whether or not to take offense, remember:alllooksame is not a statement. It’s a question.” p. 265

I thought this was powerful because first of all, the phrase “alllooksame” is controversial because of the way that it is written. This reminded me of the book Orientals by Lee and how it was discussing the stereotype of the way Asians pronounce certain words and phrases. As opposed to placing the alllookTHEsame and inserting “the” in the website name was done purposely and could also be looked at as a way of embracing ones identity. Furthermore, this reminded me of the film “The Slanted Screen: Asian Men in Film and Television” and how one of the actors talked about how to effectively create change, and if that means to play the stereotype for the time being to pass through then so be it. Secondly, the fact that the emphasis is placed on stating that it is a question is powerful because it makes you think one: about the statement and two: about the question itself.