Ten Thousand Things with Shin Yu Pai
New episodes start May 1, 2023.
A podcast about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life, hosted by award-winning poet and museologist Shin Yu Pai.
In many Chinese sayings, “ten thousand” is used in a poetic sense to convey something infinite, vast, and unfathomable. For Shin Yu, the story of Asians in America is just that. In Ten Thousand Things, Shin Yu explores a collection of objects and artifacts that tell us something about Asian American life – from a second-hand novel to a blue suit worn by a congressman on January 6. Ten Thousand Things is a vibrant, diverse, and bittersweet celebration of Asian America ... and a challenge for all of us to reimagine stories of the past and future.
Ten Thousand Things is created and hosted by Shin Yu Pai and produced by KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio in Seattle. Logo art by Eason Yang, with photography from Reva Keller. Original music by Tomo Nakayama.
A Jizo Bodhisattva cradles grief
During the mizu kuyo ritual for pregnancy loss, a small Jizo Bodhisattva statue enshrines ceremonial remains of a lost child. Following Shin Yu’s miscarriage in 2012, she had a mizu kuyo ceremony to process her grief.
A steelhead obsession dries up
Dylan Tomine has a passion for steelhead trout. Or an obsession. Or an addiction.
A time capsule returns
On the eve of selling her family’s house, Donna Miscolta’s daughter had a special request: Go to the stairwell and pull back the loose board on the bottom step.
A resume loses its shine
Eason Yang was on an ambitious career trajectory, helping tech companies like Uber change the world. Until he got cancer.
A name is a thing that is changeable
A name is an object that defines who we are. But what if our name is wrong?
The Blue Suit is back... now as Ten Thousand Things
In many Chinese sayings, “ten thousand” is used in a poetic sense to convey something infinite, vast, and unfathomable. For Shin Yu Pai – award-winning poet and museologist – the story of Asians in America is just that. Introducing Ten Thousand Things, a special podcast series about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life, created and hosted by Shin Yu Pai and produced by KUOW.
A blue suit becomes history
The story behind the viral and historic blue suit that inspired this podcast.
A record player is a time machine
The vintage Califone record player allows sound artist Paul Kikuchi to access and share songs that he inherited from his great-grandfather and other 78rpm records that were left behind by Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.
A dictionary transforms a son's grief
After his father's death, Byron Au Yong turned to paper folding.
A childhood stuffie goes missing
The Blue Suit's host, Shin Yu Pai, revisits an object from her own life.
A glassy gift shines a new path
In a small clear box, Etsuko Ichikawa keeps a small piece of vitrified glass that was given to her on a tour of the Hanford nuclear site.
A flavor creates harmony
Tomo Nakayama usually puts his creative energy into his harmonious music. But when the pandemic hit, he found a new outlet: cooking.