Museum mired in muck on Monday?

31 08 2009
Yesterday at "The Asian" (we didn't do it.)

Yesterday at "The Asian" (we didn't do it).

Monday Morning Update

What a week it’s been!
We launched the site last Tuesday, picked up by bloggers in less than 24 hrs;
began campus outreach at SFSU and UC Berkeley Wednesday;
intervention Thursday (hundreds of flyers distributed!);
interview posted Friday;
scholars weighed in with approval Saturday;
Fred Schodt, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government, tweeted about us yesterday, Read the rest of this entry »

Fred Schodt tweets

30 08 2009

A diabolically clever website @
Fred Schodt is a renowned translator of Japanese manga and author of many popular books on Japan, who this past June was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government, one of the highest honors they bestow.  Fred attended the Matcha sword event/our first direct action, which prompted his tweet.

More on Fred and the award on (pic!)

Click on the book cover to visit Fred’s website.

Scholars weigh in: “Instant Classic”

29 08 2009

On the Japan History Group‘s Blog:

“But why not call attention to the problematic mythologization of these figures, as the Pacific Asia Museum’s 2009 exhibition “The Samurai Re-Imagined: From Ukiyo-e to Anime” did? Why not, as the parody of AAMSF’s exhibition suggests, pay attention to less well known aspects of samurai culture and history, whether that be sexuality, the reality of war, Japanese aggression in Korea, or modern wartime appropriations of the samurai image? Or why not, as the interview suggestions, highlight the more nuanced scholarship of Tom Conlon or Hal Bolitho instead of the work of Thomas Cleary? These are valid and important questions, and the controversy illustrates the need for more scholarly and critical attention to the politics of display of Japanese art.”

Samurai Exhibit Pwned, by Morgan Pitelka, Asian Studies, Occidental College.

And don’t miss Jonathan Dresner’s response:

“I’m absolutely blown away by the quality of the parody: it’s thoughtful, factual (in addition to Conlan and Bolitho, they cite Ikegami and critiques of Nitobe), beautifully done. It’s a bit over-the-top, but not to the point where it undermines their position. It’s an instant classic, as far as I’m concerned.”

Interviewed by

28 08 2009

Ernie at interviews us here:

8 Questions for Asians Art Museum

Samurai pwned! + More Blog Buzz

28 08 2009

Hilarious blogpost by Moye at

Update:  Additional Blogosphere Buzz

SFist:  . . . wishing this were a real museum

CBS5The parody site includes hilarious copy . . .

mr poopypants:  with comments from xensen, the AAMSF’s Director of Publications, Thomas Christensen.

Hyphen Blog:  originally published at Beyond Asiaphilia

ARTicles, blog of the National Arts Journalism Program Where Asian Still Means Oriental

SFMike’s Civic CenterSamurai Semiotics

Asian Art Library:  commentary from LSU’s School of Art

Yosha’s Crying WallThe Lost Samurai

bun4_nbk: bun4_nbkのブックマーク

Arts Journal’s Real Clear ArtsWhat should the museum do?

Dig DugSo what are museums’ obligations and responsibilities to the public, especially institutions that receive city funds? . . . If museums market exhibitions to people using stereotyped fantasies, aren’t they slowly but surely reinforcing stereotypes?’s Friday Fishwrap:  includes a comment by a Charles Hisashiburi

The Marmot’s HoleAnd the Point is? (sent lots of web traffic from So. Korea)

Artemisia:  a Museum volunteer—“Orientalism lives!”

Al’s Art Log:  “It’s also a lesson for any arts organization to not let their marketing departments run away with their sales pitches, to make sure that the content presented is not undermined by the process of getting bodies in the door.

Note:  In a disingenuous PR ruse, the Asian Art Museum attempted to co-opt online discussion with it’s own blog page on the subject which sadly disrespects the source of the debate by refusing to provide a link to our website, and is fundamentally based on the lie that we “cannot be contacted directly”, contrary to the obvious fact that our contact info appears in numerous places on the site as well as this blog.  If there were any doubt as to their dubious tactics, they also refused pingbacks from other bloggers who recognize the value of the discourse being generated.

Are they not interested in being part of an open, mutually respectful dialogue—one that’s not controlled by their moderators, dominated by their staff contributors, to serve only their audience? Based on their apparent role in the suppression of public dialogue at the de Young Museum, the answer seems very clear.

Matcha! Intervention 5pm tonight

27 08 2009

Meet in front of the Asian Art Museum at Civic Center

TODAY (Thu 8/27) 5pm

to pass out flyers to folks attending the Matcha! sword event.

If you appreciate or support what we’re doing, please come out and join us!

(samurai or other costumed attire optional)

Wait, what is this all about?

27 08 2009

It’s all blogged eloquently into nuanced and pitch-perfect context here:

That’s Not My Name: Lord, It’s The Samurai! intervention

Daimyo for a Day: Militarism for Kids!

27 08 2009


Where else but this museum can you have so much fun imbuing your child in the belief that eternal war is completely normal?

After all, if your kid is under 8 years old, that’s the actual reality we, as a nation, have given her or him.

But here at our Daimyo for a Day “experience center” we offer your children something more:  interactive, direct, lived experience in — we kid you not the making of your own weapons!

And WHAT do I use it for?

And now remind me, what do I use it for?

Anatomy of a Parody, Pt. II: the website

25 08 2009


Anatomy of a Parody, Pt. I: the flyer

25 08 2009

Imitation as the sincerest form of flattery?

or parody?

Or parody?

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