Satun Woman and Child, Satun province, Ban Doan Village, S. Thailand. Photo: Brandt, John H (1961–1968). Source: Brandt Image Collection, Keene State College. Mason Library, Orang Asli Archive.

As a kid growing up on the far South Side of Chicago, whenever I would envision the physical features of Asian people—since those I saw most were in martial arts movies and Ultraman reruns on television—a fairly narrow set of characteristics always came to mind. …

Okay, sure Blast-Master KRS-One. New York’s Boogie Down Bronx may be the birthplace of hip-hop music and all that. But some of its precious “blueprint” now appears to have come from the rough-n-rugged suburbs of Norfolk, Virginia.

That’s right, y’all: Norfork, Virginia.

It was in the Norfolk suburb of Berkley…

Credit: Wellcome Gallery

“Why are the majority of the virgins that are revered in the celebrated pilgrimages black?” queried writer Romain Rolland, puzzling over the curious existence of religious icons known as the Black Madonna found in hundreds of Christian churches throughout Europe:

“At Boulogne-sur-mer (France) the sailors carry a Black Virgin in…

In 1943, the Spanish composer Pablo Casals (1876–1973) wrote “Nigra Sum,” one of his best-known choral works and, one could argue, one of the most beautiful choral works ever written.

Like many of Casals’ compositions, the piece was designed to be sung at the famed Montserrat Monastery in Catalonia, the…

Composite Illustration by Paco Taylor (STP Design)

Why do giant monsters in the 1960s special effects films of Japan nearly always seem to come from make-believe islands situated in the South Pacific? From the time of my childhood in the 1970s, this connecting thread was something of a puzzle to me. …

Credit: Soul Hug | Facebook

The nine original songs on Soul Hug’s little-known 2010 Elepianote EP (which I myself only just discovered) are mellow and sweetly melodic. If you’re not in the right mindset for that today –– or even tonight –– it’s okay. Save it for when you do need something in that vein…

Credit: Funimation

In Afro Samurai: Resurrection, Ogin is the alluring Afro-coiffed woman seen maneuvering deftly through rounds of Chō-Han, a traditional dice game in Japan. She makes her surprising on-screen appearance during the rowdy gambling house sequence in the jointly-produced 2009 animated film by Gonzo and the US-based Funimation.

‘Resurrection’ is a…

Paco Taylor

Writes about Eastern and Western pop culture, history and art | Bylines @ Nextshark, G-Fan Magazine, The Beat & CBR (Comic Book Resources) | stpaco@gmail.com

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