NigaHiga: How to be Ninja

19 Feb

NigaHiga (est. 2006) is Asian American and YouTube’s second most subscribed to filmmaker.  A one man production company consisting of only Ryan Higa and occasionally his friends, he makes videos ranging from Asian stereotypes to random rants and vlogs to music videos.  Being his third most viewed video, “How to be Ninja” gained over 32 million views.

The video parody offers five steps on how to be a ninja, a person who stereotypically practices a form of martial arts and wears a black suit:


1) Make loud, unnecessary sounds when you hit things.  Though martial artists do, in fact, tend to make sounds when they are fighting, to mock the habit is discriminating because they do not do it on purpose, it just happens as they fight.  In the video, the actors make the sounds “hoo,” “hah,” and “woo” as they hit random objects.

2) Catch things with chopsticks.  This is untrue because in real martial arts, chopsticks play no role.  This step is just a pure stereotypical joke that all Asians use chopsticks.  The actors in the video throw objects at each other and attempt to catch them with chopsticks.

3) Teleport from place to place.  Martial artists should be able to move around effortlessly without sound, but describing it as teleporting is inappropriate because it is not possible.  The actors move from side to side in imitating ways and act sneaky.

4) Be able to transform into anything.  The actors in the video pretend to be animals, trees, fags, and imitate anyone.  I have never heard that ninjas needed to know how to transform into things because for one thing, it is not possible.

5) Know how to perform a fatality.  I think out of all these steps, this sounds the most reasonable because martial artists should know how to finish off an enemy.  The actors mockingly fight each other and perform silly fatalities.

Though the video is hilarious in that it mocks ninjas and includes funny steps on how to be one, I do not see why these five steps are what make a person a ninja.  Like the Wong Fu video, “Kung Fooled,” the video was made purely for entertainment and not to offend anyone that is Asian or a martial artist.


Floyd May-Be-Racist-Weather Jr.

18 Feb

Awe yes another racist remark from one of the most controversial athletes of all time. Yeah I’m talking about Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. His latest victim of racial discrimination is New York Knicks’ rising star Jeremy Lin. Everyone knows that Floyd Mayweather when not in the ring is talking trash and showing off his ignorance in the tolerance for other minority groups. On February 14, 2012 Mayweather tweeted,

“Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

So basically what Mayweather is trying to say is that every black player in the league leads there team to back to .500 average  24.6 points, 8.9 assists and 1.9 steals a game. That is unrealistic, if that was true then no other races should be playing in the NBA it should just be a Black man’s sport. When confronted about his tweet Mayweather got all defensive and had this to say,

“Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine,” the 34-year-old said. “As soon as I support black American athletes, I get criticized.

“I’m speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up.”

Not too long ago he had a lot to say to boxing rival Manny Pacquiao making a very racial disturbing video in which he refers to Pacquiao as a midget and even goes on to say that he will make Manny Pacquiao make him some sushi.

After being criticized massively by the media and boxing fans every where he released another video apologizing to Manny Pacquiao but still seems very arrogant and the video just seems as if he’s thanking everyone who supports him and doesn’t really seem as if he means the apology and was more or less forced to apologize to get the media and fans of his back.

White Kombat

18 Feb

The 1995 hit movie Mortal Kombat tells about how some of the world’s best martial arts fighters are selected to protect the “real world” from the Realms who were one win away from taking over the world. What many people failed to realize is that all but two characters of the characters in the movie are white. 


Stereotypes are strongly exhibited in the film as all the character are white except the main character Liu Kang who just so happens to be the best fighter. Just because Liu Kang is of Asian descent does not mean he has to be the best fighter. On the other hand the character Raiden who is the God of Thunder is supposed to be based of the Japanese demon (Raijin) that bangs on drums to create the roar of thunder. So why did a white man play the role of a japanese demon and why was he portrayed as a god instead of a demon, the answer is because Hollywood wanted to make it appealing to the majority of the United States which are whites. 


Even the ninjas in the movie are white males, the ninja originated in Japan and is considered a Japanese fight technique in which the art of being stealthy is master. In Hollywood though a ninja is a white blue eyed male who has the same capability as a Japanese male who is trained for a life time in temples to master the art of the ninja. 


These Hollywood films are really getting on my nerves with not hiring the right actors for the roles. Hiring a well known white actor a lot of the times doesn’t mean the movie will be a success. Asian Actors could play the roles better and at a lower cost because most Asian actors do their own stunts and do not require stunt doubles. I long for the day that minorities will began to start playing starring roles in Hollywood’s discriminating film industry. 

Hundreds of Samurai Dead

17 Feb

In The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise plays the role of an ex- U.S. army captain, who is a drunk without a purpose in life and is eventually accepted into a closed society of Japanese samurai that is completely foreign to him. What I don’t understand is why of all people would they accept a white guy into their clan of strictly Japanese samurai and why would they cast a white guy to be the last samurai. In the end the entire samurai clan’s fate rests on the shoulders of the all powerful white hero who had just joined the clan.

The samurai go to war against an imperial army that at first seemed like somewhat of an even battle, despite the imperial’s superior technology, however in the end the samurai forces are all wiped out. All but one that is. Tom cruise, who had miraculously survived a barrage of bullets from a Gatling gun, survives. This is about as racist as it gets. I think that if I was Japanese I would take serious offense to this. How does this look in a movie in the perspective of a Japanese person? All of the Japanese samurai in this movie die, and only the white guy is left? What?! They should call this film Hundreds of Samurai Dead rather than The Last Samurai.

It seems to be a reoccurring theme that an entire native society has to rely on a white hero or savior to preserve their culture. This theme is also repeated in films like Avatar by James Cameron and Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. Where the white protagonist is accepted into a closed society, and is the leader and hero who is the only one who can save this foreign culture. Hollywood should stop making films like this. If they want to continue this style of film, Hollywood should at least consider doing it right without making the leading role a white character when relating to foreign cultures such as the Japanese. Why is it that Hollywood cannot accept a minority playing the lead role of a hero, especially in a film that takes place in a different country?  Until then these kinds of films will be likely to be made over and over again.

Black & Yellow, Black & Yellow, Black & Yellow

16 Feb

Chinese actor Jackie Chan is widely known for his appearance as the main protagonist in several martial arts movies.  The most well-known is the Rush Hour (1998, 2001, 2007) trilogy.  In all three movies, Chan plays a detective inspector named Lee who flew to the United States from Hong Kong and struggles with the English language and American lifestyles.  He becomes the sidekick of African American FBI detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) who is careless and childish and causes more trouble than he does good work.  Countless stereotypes are seen throughout all three movies, even in the movie trailers alone.

The second Carter sees Lee as his work partner, he assumes that because he is Asian he cannot understand English and asks, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?”  In one scene, Lee turns on the radio and listens to the Beach Boys.  Carter responds by telling Lee never to touch a “black man’s radio” and changes the song to what sounds like a hip-hop tune, the music genre that many African Americans listen to.  In an attempt to adjust to one another’s culture, Carter mocks Lee’s martial arts moves while Lee tries to act American by using terms and words that Carter uses.

The second movie now takes place in Hong Kong.  The first stereotype seen in the trailer is when Carter attempts to speak Chinese.  He is given a live chicken but goes on to say that he wants fried chicken.  Stereotypically, African Americans eat a lot of fried chicken.  In the scene where Carter and Lee are getting massages, the two are bombarded by enemies and Carter is forced to fight.  He hits Lee mistakenly and says that “All ya’ll look alike.”  He was trying to emphasize the stereotype that all Asians look alike because he thought that Lee was an enemy.

The two are at in again a third time in Paris.  Racism is shown when Carter and Lee jump into a cab but the driver refuses to drive Carter because he is American.  The cab driver did not say anything about Lee because clearly he is Asian.  In one scene, Carter is seen speaking to an old Asian man in which they argue about “you” (Yu) and “me” (Mi).  Carter is unaware that those are Chinese names while the Asian man is trying to convince him that those are names.  At the end of the trailer, Carter slaps an Asian man for speaking French instead of Chinese and calls it “humiliating.”

The Rush Hour movies though funny, illustrate the numerous amounts of stereotypes and racism made about Asians and African Americans.  The stereotypes are all overdone and overused because they are made fun of too often.

Wong Fu Productions: Kung Fooled

16 Feb

Wong Fu Productions (est.  2003) is one of YouTube’s top stars in the Asian American community.  Consisting of filmmakers Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang, the production company filmed a video regarding the Asian stereotype that all Asians know a form of martial arts, namely Kung Fu.  With over five million views, “Kung Fooled” made its way to become one of Wong Fu’s most viewed videos.


The video starts off with two male friends watching a movie scene in which an Asian character practices Kung Fu.  They continue on to talk about how “every single person in America thinks that Asian people are good at math, piano, martial arts…”  One of the two proceeds to take the trash out and is confronted by a white male portrayed as a thief who tries to steal his wallet.  Pretending to know Kung Fu, the Asian male fends off the white male to avoid being mugged.  This is stereotypical because the white male sees the Asian male swatting his arms around and automatically assumes that he knows Kung Fu and runs away in fear. (see 1:00-2:00)

The stereotype that all Asians know Kung Fu is further supported when the Asian male comes across another Asian male whom he assumes knows Kung Fu as well.  The two begin to go with the flow and end up showing off each other’s moves, unaware of the fact that both of them were pretending to know Kung Fu.  Rather than fighting, the two come to friendly terms. (see 2:15-3:15)

At the end of the video, another stereotype arises: African American males are fearless and are superior when it comes to picking fights with other people and winning.  The African American appears threatening and undefeatable (see 4:12-4:38).  While the Asian male took advantage of the stereotype that all Asians know Kung Fu, the African American male was taking advantage of the stereotype that he is feared by other races and pretends to be a danger.

Neither of the stereotypes that all Asians know Kung Fu and African American males are threats are true.  I am Asian myself and I do not know Kung Fu; I have many Asian friends, none of which know Kung Fu.  Many African Americans that I have met are completely harmless and do not pick fights with others.  This video was made to entertain viewers, not to prove that all Asians know Kung Fu.  In fact, this video instead proves that not all Asians know Kung Fu.

Subliminal Racism in Dragon Ball Z?

14 Feb

As a child my all time favorite show was Dragon Ball Z, and actually it still is! Dragon Ball Z, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, started out in 1988 in Japan originally as a Japanese comic (manga) and eventually became a highly popular cartoon world-wide. In Dragon Ball Z the characters are primarily Japanese, which would make sense, it being a Japanese cartoon (anime). However, I believe that there is subliminal racism that exists in some of the characters such as Krillin and Mr.Popo.


For example one of the main characters Krillin. He is a monk who is portrayed as a Chinese man in a very stereotypical manner, for example in Dragon Ball (prequel to Dragon Ball Z) he is short, has small slanted eyes, and doesn’t have a nose (mocking the Chinese characteristics of having a small nose). This is a pun on Chinese characteristics that have been proven though DNA tests. It would make sense for Krillin to be short in Dragon Ball since he is a child however; in Dragon Ball Z he stays short despite him growing older, all of the other main characters, such as Goku (the main protagonist in the Dragon Ball series), grow to be much taller. Krillin’s eyes are drawn differently in Dragon Ball Z but they are the same color as his skin (as shown in the picture) this is still poking fun at the Chinese eye characteristics.

Another example is Mr.Popo, Kami’s (the guardian of Earth) slave.  Mr. Popo does everything Kami says and does it gladly without hesitation. Mr.Popo is short, fat, has thick red lips and pitch black skin which is probably as derogatory as possible especially being the one of the only black characters in the series . In the re-release of the Dragon Ball Z series, Dragon Ball Kai the artists changed Mr. Popo’s skin color from black to blue and gave him orange lips to avoid any possible racism, which in my opinion, is even more racist because this shows the fans, who have watched the original series that the people producing Dragon Ball Z have clearly though about how Mr.Popo’s character may offend people.

Lastly and possibly the most unnoticeable example  is the Sayains, an alien race who don’t appear much different from the regular Japanese people, tan skin, dark eyes and dark hair. These seemingly normal Sayains can transform in to extremely powerful super-beings called Super Sayains that are white skinned, have blonde hair, blue or green eyes. Is it some coincidence that these all powerful white people are the strongest beings in the universe? Does this imply white superiority? When these Super Sayains are beaten in battle they revert back to their black hair, black eyed, tan skinned state and how does this scenario look?: Regular Japanese adversary beat is beaten by the glowing super charged white guy.


These are just some observations that I have noticed that I wanted to show you. Even the most popular cartoons shown on TV can have racism hidden subliminally.


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