26 episodes

An award-winning podcast about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life, hosted by poet and museologist Shin Yu Pai.

Ten Thousand Things with Shin Yu Pai KUOW News and Information

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 85 Ratings

An award-winning podcast about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life, hosted by poet and museologist Shin Yu Pai.

    Settlement

    Settlement

    Janet Lee, a freshman at Bryn Mawr, was heading home for Christmas break when she was detained by the police for alleged drug smuggling. Janet wasn’t carrying any drugs. But the treatment she received from the Philadelphia police department and from her own community would change her life forever. In this episode, we’ll explore the pain of being accused of being someone you are not and fighting to reclaim the story that sets the record straight.

     

    Ten Thousand Things is produced by KUOW in Seattle. Our host, writer, and creator is Shin Yu Pai. Whitney Henry-Lester produced this episode. Jim Gates is our editor. Tomo Nakayama wrote our theme music. Additional music in this episode by Abigail Osborn, PRAANA, Wild Pony, Brique a Braq, Jordan Critz.

    And of course, we don't exist without listeners like you. Support Ten Thousand Things by donating to KUOW.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    Cage

    Cage

    Jenny Liou is good at many things. She is a poet, an English professor, and former MMA Cage Fighter. It would be easy to see the cage as a place of limitation. But for Jenny, the cage was a place of freedom, where she could showcase her athletic skills. It was a place where her jiu-jitsu training allowed her to stay grounded and see her opponent’s weaknesses. Jenny rose in the sport’s ranks while teaching college English, a symbiotic balance of mental and physical strength. But the pressures of the sport ultimately confined her, until she gained the strength to give up the fight and step out of the cage. 

     

     

    Ten Thousand Things is produced by KUOW in Seattle. Our host, writer, and creator is Shin Yu Pai. Whitney Henry-Lester produced this episode. Jim Gates is our editor. Tomo Nakayama wrote our theme music. Additional music in this episode by Deraj, Wild Pony, WOLVES.

    And of course, we don't exist without listeners like you. Support Ten Thousand Things by donating to KUOW.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 22 min
    Mask

    Mask

    We might wear a mask to fit in, to fulfill someone else’s expectations, or to navigate a white-centric world. For Shin Yu, the mask was real. It was a white plaster mold of her face that hung on her in-laws’ wall, a reminder of all the “saving face” she has done trying to fit in. Last year, she decided to ask for the mask back. This is a personal interview with Shin Yu about learning how to let down the mask, while embracing vulnerability and our true selves. 

     

    Ten Thousand Things is produced by KUOW in Seattle. Our host, writer, and creator is Shin Yu Pai. Whitney Henry-Lester produced this episode. Jim Gates is our editor. Tomo Nakayama wrote our theme music. Additional music in this episode by Wild Pony.

    And of course, we don't exist without listeners like you. Support Ten Thousand Things by donating to KUOW.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    Teardrop Lip

    Teardrop Lip

    Leanna Keith knew the flute was her instrument. But she was discouraged from trying it in middle school by a white teacher who said her anatomy (a teardrop lip) would not allow her to master the instrument. Today, she is a professional musician, breaking the mold with her contemporary flute performances. This story looks at the uniqueness of our individual anatomies and what it’s like to be made to feel imperfect.

     

    Ten Thousand Things is produced by KUOW in Seattle. Our host, writer, and creator is Shin Yu Pai. Whitney Henry-Lester produced this episode. Jim Gates is our editor. Tomo Nakayama wrote our theme music. Additional music in this episode by Dexter Britain. Sunborn, Red licorice, Vanra, Ezzy, AND Leanna Keith.

    And of course, we don't exist without listeners like you. Support Ten Thousand Things by donating to KUOW.

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    Season 3 Trailer

    Season 3 Trailer

    This season on Ten Thousand Things: We're back with season three! This season features the stories of trailblazing Asian American women and the resilience of Asian American communities, even in the face of endangerment. Three of this season’s stories take place in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District Neighborhood, with help from the Wing Luke Museum. Featured guests include poet and former MMA cage fighter Jenny Liou; Seattle chef Tiffany Ran; and flutist Leanna Keith; among others. New episodes drop on Tuesdays.

    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. Ten Thousand Things is a podcast about modern-day artifacts of Asian American life and the stories they reveal, created and hosted by Shin Yu Pai and produced by KUOW (Seattle’s NPR station). Ten Thousand Things is a vibrant, diverse, and bittersweet celebration of Asian America ... and a challenge for us all to reimagine stories of the past and future.

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 2 min
    Live Show

    Live Show

    Before we return for our THIRD season of Ten Thousand Things on April 30th, we wanted to share a special recording. In September of 2022, we celebrated the first season of our podcast with a live event at McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. Back then, our podcast was called The Blue Suit (as you’ll hear). We evolved to become Ten Thousand Things. But we had the same goal of telling compelling stories behind modern-day artifacts of Asian American life. Our live show includes interviews with some of our previous guests on the podcast as well as some new stories. And musician Tomo Nakayama joins us to share a story about an object that is dear to his heart and to play a few songs. 

     

    We can only make Ten Thousand Things because listeners support us. Make the show happen by making a gift to KUOW.

    And we want to hear from you! Leave us feedback online.

    Ten Thousand Things is produced by KUOW in Seattle. Our host, writer, and creator is Shin Yu Pai. Jim Gates produced this episode with help from Hans Twite and Tom Stiles. Charlotte Duren produced the event. Tomo Nakayama wrote our theme music. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
85 Ratings

85 Ratings

WordNerdMJ ,

Beautiful storytelling about the Asian American experience

I love that this podcast explores the complexity and the diversity of the Asian American experience. I find comfort and solidarity in listening to stories that are both like — and unlike — my own. Asian stories are American stories, and I’m so glad this podcast exists to share them with the world!

Hulikang ,

Poetic and meaningful!!

I can’t believe I waited this long to listen to this podcast! It’s a precious gem amongst the many many podcasts out there. Thoughtfully written and recorded by Shin Yu Pai, Seattle’s current poet laureate; each episode is its own unique work of prose that illuminates a facet of American life through objects and the moving stories behind them. While the stories are often told by those of Asian descent, what I find compelling is the universality of the feelings and lessons shared in the stories - the underlying theme of resilience/perseverence is one that everyone can relate to. I am also obsessed with the calming effect of Shin Yu’s gentle narration, right up there for me with my other favorite podcaster voice Shankar Vedantum. Thank you for putting out high quality art in this platform!!!

sahasahas ,

Beautiful, Necessary Storytelling

After discovering this podcast earlier this year, I eagerly made my way through each episode. As a longtime Seattleite and Asian-American, this is the podcast I’ve been waiting for. My only note is that the seasons are too short, while the stories to tell are vast & inexhaustible. I’m excited for Season 3, and I hope KUOW will expand this award-winning podcast to offer many, many more episodes throughout the entire calendar year!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Fail Better with David Duchovny
Lemonada Media
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
This American Life
This American Life
Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli
Wondery

You Might Also Like

Better Version
Better Version
Cosmic Writer
Hà Minh
The Present Writer
Chi Nguyen, PhD.
HIEU.TV
Hieu Nguyen
Tri Kỷ Cảm Xúc
Web5ngay
Minh Niệm
Minh Niệm