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SF International Animation Festival's Cartoons Aren't Just For Kids

The word is out—this month, the much-anticipated San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema theater opens the doors to its state-of-the-art, 143-seat facility in Japantown. It’s the first time in the film society’s 54-year history that it’s had a permanent home for films, classes, and events. The modern building flaunts THX-certified surround sound and perfect sight lines that ensure a full acoustic and visual experience.

Look of the Week: A Wearable Spin on Harajuku Trends for the J-Pop Festival

This Saturday, Japanophiles from all over the Bay will pay homage to Tokyo's Harajuku district by wearing "costumes" ranging from goth to Lolita (think Little Bo Peep). It'll be just one of many interesting sights at this year's J-Pop Summit Festival in Japantown.

While you may not want to go all-out for this one, you can still dress for the occasion by incorporating key trends:  bows, Peter Pan collars, lace, Mary-Janes, platforms, and black. Luckily, many of these trends are in this fall, too. We spun the Harajuku staples into a modern, completely wearable look, with versatile separates that you'll cherish this fall.

Bring Japanese Pub Grub Home

Emeryville’s Hodo Soy Beanery’s spicy yuba strips are made of the delicate and creamy sheet that forms on the top of heated soymilk. The strips are then marinated in spicy teriyaki sauce and pan-fried. Serve them warm with a nice cold Asahi. $5 at Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St., 415-863-0620.

NEW PEOPLE's J-POP Summit Festival Week Arrives

Brace yourself: J-POP Summit Week has landed in Japantown, and it’s geared up to be a sensory overloaded experience in the best way possible. The festival’s helmed by Japantown megaplex NEW PEOPLE and is a celebration of all things J-POP culture. It kicked off last night with a lecture on “sexy bad girl roles from Japanese cinema,” and continues the heat through this weekend’s all-day street festival, a J-POP bonanza that will feature anime displays, Japanese rock at its finest and pop-up stores galore.

This Weekend: Japanese Artist Series Film Fest

Been looking for a reason to check out the New People arts center in Japantown? Stop by the complex’s underground Viz Cinema Mar. 6-9 for the Artist Series Festival Vol. 1, a collection of six films documenting contemporary artists living and working in Japan. Notables include painter Hisashi Tenmyouya, whose blending of traditional Japanese painting techniques (think gold leafing and cherry blossoms) with modern graphics (ala armored soccer players and robotic ninjas) have earned him the nickname Hip-Hop-Samurai. In addition to three U.S. premieres, three films will be returning due to popular demand, including Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara, an up-close look at the renowned modern artist’s world tour.

More Valentine's Fun: New People Brings the Bizarre

This Valentine's Day, forget the pandora bracelet you've been eyeing and head to New People in Japantown for a gift that your loved one will actually like, guaranteed. How, you ask? Because they'll be standing right next to you, doing the choosing. This Saturday, stroll hand-in-hand over to Post Street for the second Artist's Village at New People. Bazaar Bizarre will be bringing the crafty giftables at an onsite Valentine-themed art fair, and at the gallery upstairs they'll be celebrating the opening of their latest show featuring a panoply of works from nine artists.

Discover the Designer Behind Dansk at DWR

You may never have heard of the name Jens Quistgaard, but if you've coveted a bright enamel pot or bulbous peppermill from Danish design company Dansk, then you have this man to thank. As the chief designer behind the brand for over 30 years, Quistgaard was responsible for the iconic style associated with Dansk, and his creations continue to gain in popularity even after his recent death at the age of 89.

Tokyo Art Show Saturday, No Red-Eye Required

Our trips to Japantown usually entail browsing the books at Kinokuniya, slurping down a bowl of noodles, and maybe a movie at Kabuki. A great day, to be sure – but franky, rather quiet. Breathing some energy into the neighborhood is New People, a four-story slice of Tokyo that opened at Post and Webster several months ago. Inside you'll find a movie theater, art gallery, and goods the likes of which you'll be hard-pressed to find this side of the Pacific (think Harajuku girl costumes, tricked-out plastic figurines, space-age humidifiers, and more).

5 Things We Love at New People

In case you haven’t heard, The City’s newly arrived pop-culture attraction New People opened over the weekend in Japantown to hoards of Harajuku lovers, anime fans and film-goers. The 20,000-square-foot complex complete with a movie theater, art gallery, café and retail shops showcasing Japanese street fashion brands is three stories of wall-to-wall eye candy (seriously, even the walls in the stairwells are worth peeking at).

We popped in yesterday for a look. Our favorite floor? Fashion-driven level 2, of course. Here are five things we loved:

1. The intriguingly coquettish pastel-hued lace parasols at Baby, The Stars Shine Bright.

Hello Kitty Co-Chairing the J-POP 2009 Summit Festival, Opening NEW PEOPLE

Well Hell-O Kitty! The pink kitty-cat whose face launched 10 thousand cutsie-pie knick-knacks is going from frivolous fluff to serious stuff, co-chairing the 2009 J-POP SUMMIT Festival next weekend. Hello Kitty will attend the tape cutting ceremony for the grand opening of NEW PEOPLE, the new Japantown complex serving all your Japanese pop culture needs.

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