Asian Americans/Asians

A Letter From Gold Mountain

Two young men leave China and voyage to Gam Saan, Gold Mountain (San Francisco) America, in 1850. One of them writes a letter home to tell of their adventures, misfortunes, and of a promise to his best friend, which he could not keep.

A Twice Saved Life

Solly Ganor, a Lithuanian Jew, was a boy when Germany invaded his country in1940. He was eventually sent to Dachau and was rescued by members of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the all-Japanese American unit.

Bittersweet: Mom’s Story

Nancy dives into why her relationship with her mother has been one of ambivalence. Her journey is colored by the differences between Chinese and Western values and behaviors making it even more difficult to understand.

Come With Me and Be Free

Kate Dudding tells the story of Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old boy in Pakistan who led thousands of children to freedom from 1993-1995. Even after his death, Iqbal went on to inspire other children that they too can make a difference.

Cost of Racism

As Motoko raises her Japanese son in the U.S., she is reminded of prejudice against Koreans in her own country, and discovers the importance of the language we use to create the world we live in.

Evacuation

What if the U.S. went to war with your country of origin? Anne Shimojima tells of the difficult days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, when her Japanese-American family were forced to evacuate their home.

Grandpa’s Story

An American family gathers for a reunion with laughter, memories, and good ol’ corn beef and cabbage. Suddenly, the father kneels before his family and sobs apologetically, “Your country has betrayed you.”

Immigrant Story

This story reveals how a group of immigrants rallied with resilience and ingenuity so that the 7th generation of Chinese Americans thrives today.

Incarceration

How would the government treat your family if it went to war with your ancestors’ country of origin? Anne Shimojima describes life in an incarceration camp for her Japanese-American family during World War II.

Loss and Acceptance

Karin had been a practical Asian woman and everything had been happening exactly as she planned until tragedy struck. With the help of storytelling in a support group to writing her Japanese blog she was able to overcome grief.

My Chinese Grandfather

Brenda’s grandfather collects, dries and sells seaweed along the coast of California. When she is older, she finds his ways strange and the work hard, but the two find unique ways of talking and enjoying each other’s company.

My Japanese Parents’ Unromantic Marriage

Karin never dreamed about marriage growing up because of her Japanese parents’ unromantic arranged marriage. But when her father had a severe stroke, her mother stuggled every day for months to teach him the basics – reading, walking and talking.

My Long Hair

Motoko tells a story about her own experience of sexual harassment in Japan, how she was trapped into silence imposed by her culture, and how storytelling helped her break through the silence and heal herself.

Onara

Based on a true story, a young girl wonders about the difference between “hakujin” (white people) and “nihonjin” (Japanese people) while in an internment camp in WWII. She speculates as to why hakujin do not onara (a euphemism for “passing gas”).

Racism on the Road and Into the Next Generation

Brenda performs a song in Japanese and is told to stop using “demonic language” and is called “a witch.” Unfortunately, bias and ignorance is also visited on the next generation when her son is mistaken for another Japanese American student.

Reflections on Minidoka

Alton Takiyama-Chung visits the remains of the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of the internment campus used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during WWII. There he meets an 89-year-old woman who had been incarcerated at Minidoka years before.

Spark Matsunaga: U.S. Senator and Warrior Poet

Spark Matsunaga was a member of the 100th Battalion in WWII. He was elected to be a U.S. Senator from Hawaii and spearheaded the Redress Act through the Senate compensating Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in the U.S. during WWII.

The Story of My Teacher

Kiran reveals his experiences with racism as one of the few brown boys in his town contrasted with the kindness of strangers as well as the inspiration he received from his storyteller teacher, Mr. George.

To Prove You Are Legal: Immigration from Taiwan

In this story, Ada Cheng explores her experience with the U.S. citizenship ceremony and vulnerability that immigrants are subject to during the process of becoming Americans. She also her experience with a guest, an older African American man.

Where Are You From?

Bangladeshi-American Muslim storyteller, Arif Choudhury, shares stories about growing up as the only “brown-skinned boy” in the neighborhood and how 9-11 changed how others might perceive him and his family.