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Wing Luke Museum

'Ten Thousand Things' returns for a third season, highlighting stories of Asian American life in the Northwest

May 2, 2024

In many Chinese sayings, “ten thousand” is used in a poetic sense to convey something infinite, vast, and unfathomable. For Shin Yu Pai, Seattle civic poet and host of KUOW's Ten Thousand Things podcast, the story of Asians in America is just that.

Ten Thousand Things is an podcast about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life and the stories they reveal. The award-winning show returned for a third season on April 30. The eight-episode season will run through June 18 on all major podcasting platforms.

caption: Ten Thousand Things: Artifacts of Asian American Life
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Ten Thousand Things: Artifacts of Asian American Life
KUOW Logo / Eason Yang

Ten Thousand Things first launched in summer of 2022 under the name The Blue Suit, a reference to a blue J. Crew suit worn by congressman Andy Kim in a viral photo taken on January 6. On each episode of Ten Thousand Things, Shin Yu explores a seemingly commonplace object that reveals something extraordinary about the experience of being Asian in America. The result is a vibrant, diverse, and bittersweet collection ... and a challenge for us all to reimagine stories of the past and future.

Season three of Ten Thousand Things features the stories of trailblazing, strong Asian American women and the resilience of Asian American communities, even in the face of endangerment. The first episode features the story of musician Leanna Keith, a professional musician who was told as a child that her anatomy (a teardrop lip) would not allow her to master the flute.

Three of this season’s stories also take place in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District Neighborhood. KUOW partnered with the Wing Luke Museum to produce these stories, which highlight the East Kong Yick building (home of the Wing Luke Museum); the Eng Family Homestead Loquat Tree; and Hood Famous's Ube Cheesecake.

“I am grateful to The Wing Luke Museum for identifying stories that are meaningful to our community and worth sharing,” said Shin Yu Pai in a statement to the Wing Luke Museum, “And for encouraging me to bring light to the rich complexity and histories of the Chinatown-International District as it continues to evolve."

Listeners can find new episodes of Ten Thousand Things every Tuesday morning through June 18, 2024 in all major podcasting platforms.

About KUOW

KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio is Seattle’s NPR news station. We are an independent, nonprofit news organization that produces award-winning journalism, innovative podcasts, engaging community events, and more. We work every day in service of our mission to create and serve a more informed public, because we believe an informed public is essential to a thriving community, a vibrant democracy, and a better future.

KUOW podcasts include chart-topping shows like THE WILD with Chris Morgan and the investigative docuseries Ghost Herd and Lost Patients, as well as local news staples including Seattle Now, Soundside and Week in Review. KUOW is a proud member of the NPR Network, a coalition of public media podcast producers with a shared mission to create and serve a more informed public.