Tag Archives: blog


Link Attack: Roy Choi in Watts; Dogs Rescued From Meat Farm; Custom Emoji Keyboard

Video: Roy Choi Wants the Next Food Revolution to Start in Watts

The first location will be in Watts at a site that used to be smoke shop and a barbershop. Choi says that his team wanted to open a location somewhere in South Los Angeles, and they ended up focusing on Watts because of the sense of community they found there. (LAist)

Dogs Rescued from South Korean Meat Farm Brought to San Francisco

Thirteen frightened young dogs and puppies arrived in San Francisco in a van Thursday, some trembling, tails between their legs, others with sad but hopeful eyes, and all of them unaware of how close they came to an agonizing, gruesome death. (SF Gate)


Memoji Keyboard Allows You To Emojify Yourself

Johnny Lin, an ex-Apple engineer, created a way for users to upload their own faces as emoji. Angry Asian Man Phil Yu tries it out.

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is Doing Shockingly Well in South Korea

Why is the movie such a huge hit in the South Korean film market? Cinema Blend speculates the reasons, from the visuals to the high fashion costume design to director Matthew Vaughn’s popularity in South Korea.

2015 - The Great Tiger (still 1)

23 Most Anticipated Korean Films of 2015

Modern Korean Cinema lists the Korean films they’re most looking forward to this year.

Homebrew and House Parties: How North Koreans Have Fun

“Despite restrictions on money and free time, partying is integral to North Korean culture. But how does it compare to cutting loose in the South?” writes The Guardian.

Jung ho Kang

Korean Star Jung Ho Kang May Be Much Better Than Advertised

“In so many words, clubs just didn’t see many reasons to be optimistic about Kang,” writes Bleacher Report. “But as early as it is, one wonders how many are thinking differently these days.”

Searing Complaint Against Korean Church

The Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church is being sued for negligence in their hiring of a youth pastor, who the plaintiff claims repeatedly sexually molester her and her sister.

Shinhan Bank President Cho Yong-byoung Pledges to Solidify Status as Leading Bank

In his inauguration speech on March 18, Shinhan Bank President Cho Yong-byoung emphasized, “I will solidify our status as a leading bank.”

Cho said, “Through ceaseless innovation, we must create new opportunities and values and maintain the highest level of profitability and soundness.”

GM Canada Gets New General Counsel and Assistant GC, Peter Cho

It won’t be Cho’s first time behind the wheel of an automotive law department. He was most recently general counsel, corporate secretary and head of government relations at Volkswagen Group Canada, and has also has worked with Volkswagen Group China and Kia Canada.

Olympic Gateway

K-Town Landmarks Hope to Begin Summer Construction

The Olympic Gateway, a long-projected landmark for Los Angeles’ Koreatown, as well as the Madang project at Da Wool Jung, are expected to begin construction as soon as mid-May.

Korean Calligraphy Exhibition Open at Chicago Korean Cultural Center

On display are about 70 works by students of Kit-beol Village Calligrapher Lee Chul-woo. (Korea Times)

Four Korean American Officers Join Fairfax County Police Department After Graduating Academy

Arthur Cho, John Hong, Seung Meang and Shane Oh were among the 60 new police officers and deputies who graduated from the academy. This is the first time in the history of the department that an academy class had this many Korean-American graduates. (Centreville Independent)


angry asian trademark dispute

Angry Asian Trademark Dispute

Pictured above: Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man and Lela Lee of Angry Little Girls. (Photos credit: KoreAm Journal and Angry Asian Man) 

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Lela Lee, the creator of the cartoon brand Angry Little Girls, is locked in a heated trademark dispute with blogger Phil Yu, the founder of Angry Asian Man, claiming that his website infringed her trademark. The dispute has recently been made public on both parties’ respective blogs.

On Feb. 13, Lee posted a blog entry entitled, “Why the ‘Angry Asian Man’ is pissing me off,” claiming that the name “Angry Asian Man” was too similar to her brand and has been causing consumer confusion for years. She also claimed that Yu plagiarized her brand’s concept, website features and shirt design. To counter Lee’s allegations, Yu published his own blog post, “I Am Being Threatened with an Angry Asian Lawsuit,” on Feb. 17.

Both parties state that the dispute began in May 2014 when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected Yu’s trademark application for “Angry Asian Man” on grounds that the name was too similar to Lee’s “Angry Little Asian Girl,” which was registered in 1999 as a goods and services trademark. According to Yu, he initially thought the rejection was “amusing” since he has had a collegial relationship with Lee since 2005 and considered their works to be completely different.

For some background, Lee first created Angry Little Asian Girl in 1994, releasing a series of animated short films that centered on Kim, a cute but snarky Asian girl with acidic humor. The artist began self-publishing comic strips on the website angrylittleasiangirl.com in 1998 and expanded the brand into Angry Little Girls to include new female characters of different backgrounds. Her comics then grew into a line of merchandise, including graphic T-shirts, books, mugs and dolls.

Angry Asian Man launched in 2001 and began as a personal blog where Yu expressed his thoughts about Asian American news, culture and politics. A year later, the blog started to gain traffic and was moved to a separate domain. After Yu was laid off from his position as a content producer for Yahoo! Movies in 2013, he dedicated himself full-time to the site. He has often credited Angry Little Asian Girl as one of the many inspirations for his blog.

“Despite the two words we share in our names, there are clear differences in what we do. I honestly thought Lela had felt the same way,” Yu wrote in his Feb. 17 blog post.

Lee, however, was not amused. When she read Yu’s May 13, 2014 email about his rejected trademark application, she admitted that she has always felt bothered by the similarity of their aliases and urged Yu to adopt a new name. Taken aback by her response, Yu promised to further discuss the issue with her later in May. About a week later, Lee followed up with another email comprised of unsolicited but helpful trademark and image consulting, according to Yu’s blog post. The comic artist strongly recommended that Yu adopt the name “Angry Asian America,” the title of a YouTube talk show he co-hosts with Jenny Yang on ISAtv.

angry-asian-man-ep-1-410x230Phil Yu, Jenny Yang, Philip Wang of Wong Fu, Jen Wang of Disgrasian (left to right)

There was a two to three month period of silence before the dispute resurfaced in the summer, due to a pitch meeting between Yu and Mnet about a possible TV show. On Sept. 16, Yu received a cease and desist letter from Knobbe Martens, the law firm representing Lee. The letter requested him to transition his name into one that does not use any variation of “Angry Asian” and to relinquish control of his website’s domain name, Facebook page and Twitter account to Angry Little Girls, Inc. After this incident, Yu contacted his lawyer, and the dispute continued to escalate.

Last November, Lee also sent a cease and desist letter to Angry Girl Comics’ creator Wendy Xu, who published her own side of the story on her Tumblr.

In an email sent to Yu on Oct. 12, Lee hurled personal insults at him and his family as well as accused him of stealing her website’s concept and unfairly benefiting from her work. At one point, she wrote: “You have no right to be known as the ‘Angry Asian.'”

“He was inspired by me and now he’s begun taking credit for my work,” said Lee in a public response to a commenter on her website. “Trademark law is about making sure the source is not confused. I have to make a stand for my copyrights and trademarks. I’ve tried co-existing, but there is too much confusion … Should I let a ‘Brother’ infringe my work because we’re ‘community’?

Yu argues that Lee “has failed to enforce her trademark” since she delayed in filing action against him. He points out that he has been writing under the Angry Asian Man name for 14 years and only received a cease and desist letter last year, even though Lee claims that she first became aware of the blog’s existence in 2005. He also adds that Lee’s actions over the years have implied that she has acquiesced the use of his moniker by contributing to his blog and inviting him as a guest to panels she had organized, such as one at 2013 Comic Con called, “Angry Asian Media Makers: Creating Content, Finding Fans.”

Lee cites “progressive encroachment” as the reason behind her 10-year delay, claiming that Yu’s activities did not become “imminently threatening or confusing” until he was laid off from his Yahoo! job and began expanding his brand into a web series.

As of Feb. 18, Lee’s lawyers sent Yu a document that outlines the allowed use of “Angry Asian America” under certain parameters. Yu is currently conferring with his attorney and reviewing the terms.

Although the dispute is far from being resolved, it seems like both parties are doing their best to work out a solution without going to court. Lee has even publicly apologized for insulting Yu and his wife in one of her publicized emails to the blogger and removed her original post that told her side of the dispute.

In her latest blog entry, Lee wrote, “[I] want to say, that there is room for Phil and I to exist, without stepping on each other’s toes. I really want to be happy for Phil and have him be a success, and now was the time to bring it up when he was stepping up his activities.”

“I firmly believe that our respective brand entities could have co-existed and thrived — as they have for the last fourteen years — without being territorial. Our community is small, and a conflict like this isn’t constructive,” Yu said in his Feb. 17 blog entry. “No matter how this shakes down, nobody really wins.”


Recommended Reading:

Isn’t the Internet Big Enough for More Than One ‘Angry Asian’?” by Reappropriate

Angry vs. Angry and Why All of Us Lose” by Jeff Yang

I Am Being Threatened with an Angry Asian Lawsuit” by Phil Yu/Angry Asian Man

On Lela Lee” by Wendy Xu/Angry Girl Comics

A Comment to Lela Lee of Angry Little Asian Girl, by Min Jung Kim” by 8asians

Angry Asian Man Is Being Threatened with an Angry Asian Lawsuit”  by Fascinasians

A Candid Interview with Phil Yu, aka Angry Asian Man”  by KoreAm Journal


My Korean Husband: Exploring Interracial Relationships


Complete with a YouTube channel, a comic series and blog posts, the website My Korean Husband, run by married couple Nichola and Hugh, documents the cultural differences and exploration of Korean and Australian culture. The site’s “About Us” page goes into further detail about the two:

“We are a married couple and we first met in Sydney, Australia. Nichola is an Australian woman and Hugh (Mr Gwon) is a Korean man. Nichola grew up in rural Australia, while Hugh grew up in rural South Korea. Growing up in very different cultures means there are many challenges to face, but there are also very many rewards.”


The blog originally started as a creative space for Nichola’s comics to explore a wide range of issues. In the comics, the couple is portrayed as a bickering, but affectionate couple who explore Korean culture together. The adorable comics focus on everything from lack of oven mitts to the difference between Korean and Australian food.






And in regards to communication, Nichola says, “I think all couples, even those that speak the same native language, can have this problem. We just tend to more aware of it. We are patient with each other, and don’t jump to conclusions and we ask for clarification before reacting to something. While we don’t speak the same native language, we speak the same language emotionally so we rarely have problems with communication.”


“We’re comparing and contrasting our lives as cartoonists, English teachers, fathers and husbands,” the couple told the Korea Herald in 2013. “We’re also going to bring in guest cartoonists with connections to Korea and Japan and maybe try to open a dialogue between a few Korean and Japanese cartoonists.”

Dating someone of a different culture may be difficult at times, but as this couple proves, it has a handful of rewards along the way.


Photos courtesy of mykoreanhusband.com 

Originally published on Audrey Magazine

The Happiest Man in America

Alvin Wong and his wife, Trudy Schandler-Wong. Such bliss.

Ever wonder who the happiest man in America is? No? Gallup’s figured it out for you anyway.

The New York Times asked Gallup, which compiled the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. resident’s health and well-being, to figure out a statistical composite for the happiest person in America.

Gallup came up with this: a tall, Asian American, observant Jew, who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and earns more than $120,000 a year.

And yes. He exists.

Alvin Wong is a 5-foot-10, 69-year-old, Chinese American Jew, who’s married with children. He runs his own health care management business in Honolulu and earns more than $120,000 a year.

Wong told The Times that he may be the happiest man in America because “my life philosophy is, if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you.”

That’s all fine and dandy, but my theory is that he’s the happiest man in America because he’s probably the ONLY PERSON WHO FITS THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

But that could be my bitterness talking, since you know, I’m short, Christian, 20-something, unmarried female who lives in California and I earn a meager salary (cough, cough). But hey, at least I’m Asian American.

In Blog We Trust: Part I of III

Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man may be the reigning king of the Asian American blogosphere, but a handful of wired scribes could soon inherit the throne.

This is part one of our cover series on the top 10 Asian American blogs to read (or watch) right now.

Jen Wang (left) with Diana Nguyen
Photographed by Eric Sueyoshi


The Los Angeles-based duo behind Disgrasian, Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen, consider themselves to be Disgrasians rather than Amazians, but don’t think that they’re suffering from low self-esteem—they’re just Asian. “We totally think we’re Disgrasians,” says Wang. “Asian people are incredibly hard on themselves, so unless you think you’re doing something wrong, you’re not really Asian. So if you’re Asian, by nature and by design, you think you’re a Disgrasian.” But both Nguyen and Wang should be proud of what they’ve achieved in a little over three years. Although their blog isn’t the go-to site for breaking news, it’s become one of the most popular sites for abrasive, but hilarious commentary on Asians who are a “disgrace to the race.” Nguyen and Wang are also contributors for The Huffington Post, where they write snarky posts on topics such as U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao and the Miss USA pageant. But somehow, it’s easy to believe that the famed site stemmed from gabfests exchanged while buzzed off wine. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands are reading their entries every day, there are enough posts about babes and bad behavior for Disgrasian to feel like a good, no-holds-barred convo between friends.” I think about Jen reading my post and almost no one else,” says Nguyen. “In a way, it’s made it possible to keep writing the way we have and preserving that original energy. That tunnel vision has been the reason we’ve been able to do it for so long.”

The Renaissance Man: KevJumba

This is part of our cover series on Asian American YouTube stars. Check out our recent profiles on Wong Fu Productions, Dumbfoundead, Megan Lee, David Choi, Ryan Higa, Just Kidding Films and Clara Chung

Kevin Wu / kevjumba
actor, writer, comedian

Thank goodness for high school stress, or we might have never met the smooth-talking comic Kevin Wu … or his dad, YouTube’s token “DILF,” the equally adorable and hilarious Papa Wu who gets pranked to no end. The Houston born-and-bred wisecracker is the Renaissance Man of YouTube comedy. His rise to stardom began when he was in high school, escaping the pressures of SATs and college apps by animatedly talking straight into his webcam about everything from “elbow zits” to stereotypes. He’s collaborated with most of his fellow YouTube counterparts, attended two years at the University of California, Davis and even created a YouTube charity called JumbaFund. “I want to try everything,” says the 20-year-old. “I want to try having my own show; I want to do acting; I definitely want to pursue stand-up. I don’t want to be restricted by one thing.” Wu will also be appearing on a national television show, so be sure to catch him on the real tube sometime in the fall. Hint: He just might be racing around the world with a companion—his one-and-only Papa Wu.

By Julie Ma
Photographed by Eric Sueyoshi in Pasadena, California.

Check out a video of Kevin and his dad after the jump!

Continue reading

My Life Is An Open Blog

By Ellyn Pak
Illustration by Noah Dempewolf

Their voices are distinct, each representing a facet of their disparate worlds. They exercise their writing chops online, providing glimpses of their lives through a window that show intimate details and thoughts on endless topics including sex, racism, food and parenting.

But together, they make up an ever-growing circle of savvy Korean American bloggers who have generated buzz and developed cyber-cred among millions of others maintaining an online diary.

They write with honesty and gusto, unencumbered by journalistic standards, and garner attention from thousands of Web surfers — some anonymous, some loyal, most curious.

“You just think you’re going to put your opinions somewhere, get it out. It can be attention-grabbing if people respond, reply, cross-list. That’s the whole dynamic of interactive and peer-driven media,” says Peter Krapp, a film and media studies professor at University of California-Irvine who has studied the blogging phenomenon.

“If they are an interesting, unorthodox, witty or disrespectful voice in a particular context, it might be nice to get a blog from them,” Krapp adds.

That’s exactly what makes these bloggers break rank from the others and garner a nod from their own peers.


“These are opinions; nothing more, nothing less.”

Phil Yu senses a hint of disappointment when people meet him and realize he’s not as angry as they expect.

“I’m generally a nice, reasonable guy, I think,” says Yu, a 28-year-old Los Angeles resident who runs angryasianman.com. “The Web site is my persona, perhaps one I get to be outside of real life.”

The blog, launched in February 2001, started as a place for Yu to rant about issues surrounding Asian American politics, identity and representation in the media and pop culture. Yu, who works on Web content stuff by day, says there was no defining moment in his life that spurred him to write about those topics.

“It was primarily for my benefit,” Yu says. “I didn’t expect anyone to read it. Maybe my friends and random visitors. I definitely didn’t expect an audience.”

He didn’t grow up an Asian American activist, he says. He didn’t gain that perspective in college where most do. In a way, writing about certain topics pertaining to Asian Americans made him inadvertently more conscious of what was out there.

“It wasn’t anything like that. It was a gradual understanding of issues that were happening around me and observing the media,” says Yu, a self-proclaimed pop-culture junkie.

His entries started off being tongue-in-cheek, an exaggerated look at some of the things he felt compelled to write about. But the undercurrent was undoubtedly clear: that racism and stereotypes exist. What makes Yu different from others is that he isn’t afraid to point it all out. And he infuses it with a touch of humor and realism to which readers can relate.

“Lately, it’s when I see ad campaigns that rely on those really basic stereotypes that you would’ve thought we got over a long time ago,” he says. “It’s like, why would you think that was innovative or creative to sell the products? It really shows we’ve not made any progress.”

Yu’s site, which attracts about 200,000 viewers each month, now has a cult following from a loyal and quickly growing audience. Readers link his posts to other blogs. They send him articles that may be fodder for his site.

“I used to be happy when I would get 10 visitors a day,” Yu says. “I didn’t intend for an audience. The audience found me.”


“This blog will essentially be about my experiences as a new father. But of course, I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t like.”

Pierre Kim’s topic of choice isn’t as racy as others, but blogging about being a father and parenting is common ground for many and an outlet for fathers who have trouble finding blogs that cater to them.

Kim says he started freaking out about being a father three years ago, just before his daughter was born. It hit him hard. His previous lifestyle with his wife revolved around selfish luxury, traveling and going out. Having a baby was a drastic change, and he caught himself wondering how he was going to pay for his unborn child’s college, about his daughter’s future boyfriends.

“I can’t be the only guy thinking about this,” he thought.

He turned to the Internet for reassuring words, but most of the blogs were centered on the experiences of women and their parenting woes. He decided to start one of his own, metrodad.com. It would be a creative outlet for writing and a place he could vent.

“I joked that I do it because it’s cheaper than therapy,” says Kim, 38, who lives in New York City with his daughter and wife, a successful fashion executive.

Kim says he never promoted his online journal. Somehow, moms, dads and 20-somethings discovered his humorous anecdotes and it began to get passed around.

Kim hit a nerve with readers and also found his niche: writing about being a father of a little girl who is trying to balance his marriage and social life, all with a mix of hilarity and honesty.

Take this entry, dated Feb. 28, 2007: “Your child’s memory will amaze you. Things you said months ago when she was a little infant will now come back to haunt you. For example, this morning, you will be speaking to a matronly woman in the lobby of your building and her shoe will squeak on the rubber mat. Your innocent little child (who has been shyly clinging to your leg in total silence for 10 minutes) will suddenly look up alertly and yell, ‘WHO FART, DADDY?’”

Kim says he’ll show his blog entries to his daughter one day.


“We’re just a community of mothers writing about Korean identity, race, culture, and parenting. Please keep your comments respectful and on-topic … or fear the wrath of the Korean mother-in-law.”

Stefania Pomponi Butler and six other mothers who are Korean or have a Korean child found their niche a year ago.

“There was absolutely no voice out there for Koreans or half-Koreans. There was no parenting voice for those women. When people find that niche, that community, it just grows. Over the year, it just exploded,” Butler says.

Kimchimamas.typepad.com, that is.

Butler, a 37-year-old mother of two who lives in the Bay Area, is the more experienced blogger of the group. She’s a writer and editor who maintains a personal blog and contributes to four other sites.

Butler — a stay-at-home turned work-at-home mom — wanted to read more about being a parent. She turned to blogs because they were written honestly by real people. She felt less isolated and connected to a community of people to whom she could relate.

Kimchi Mamas, made up of various Korean American experiences is, in some way, a collective voice to moms balancing culture, identity and race. The blog garners more than 24,000 page views a month, Butler says, and attracts an audience seeking similar parenting experiences.

“We are bold. Strong opinions are absolutely encouraged in everything we post … We can play off the fact that Koreans are opinioned and hot.”

Like Pierre Kim, Butler says she’ll show her daughters her blog entries when they get older. Unlike journaling or keeping a diary, having a blog means you have an audience, and are perhaps more likely to write. Which means Butler’s kids will end up with a lengthy read. “Through it all, I hope they see how much I love them,” she says. “It’s a chance to be real and honest. It’s a testament to my love for them.”

At the same time, Butler says the wide audience for favored blogs is a way to counter how Asian Americans are portrayed in the media.

“Asians are multi-dimensional. We’re funny. We’re irreverent. And we’re just like everyone else,” she says.