Our world’s first Asian American StoryFest was an amazing festival! It was everything and more than we wanted it to be! The tellers were stellar, and our Young Performers Ensemble was a hit! We heard so many delightful, deep, and funny stories that brought tears, laughter and heart warmth.

ETH-NOH-TEC’s told a version of China’s The Three Laughing Monks that got the audience laughing, even as they sat in their cars hours later; another night the darker side of the dynamic duo: shape shifting Tiger Woman!

MOTOKO’s STORY: of a new Japanese housewife who held in her ‘gas’ to be polite – with ‘explosive’ consequences!

ALTON TAKIYAMA CHUNG tells of Hawaii’s goddess Pele’s toboggan race with mere mortals; and the compelling tale of Japanese diplomat Sugihara who saved thousands of Jews single-handedly during the holocaust;

ARIF CHOUDHURY tells of a Muslim’s dilemma with eating all the foods common at a friend’s raucous football party (pepperoni pizza, sausage pizza…);

ANNE SHIMOJIMA Weaves a Japanese folk tale of how the headless Samurai got his head reattached;

ETH-NOH-TEC ENSEMBLE told a Korean bilingual story of Konji, their own Cinderella, as well as a Tale from India (“Cleverness”)and one from China (“Nu Wa Mends the Sky”)

BRENDA WONG AOKI recounts sitting beside a homeless person on SF’s Fulton 5 bus and experiencing fear and distain, but ending with grace and gratitude

Two days of stories! A fantastic festival! and of course… a standing ovation.

The panel on ‘Why Storytelling? Why me?’ was very provocative, enlightening, inspiring and powerful. Adding our Asian voices to the storytelling community at large and the storytelling genre was heard!

HELPING HANDS MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN!Our 21 volunteers made it all work! Who could ever do anything without volunteers, board, tech and the greater circle of support: our donors!

Still, if you have a bit of extra loose change about, or know someone who forgot to donate but wanted to, please let us know who that is so we can send him/her a letter or make a phone call. All loose change accepted!! We want to continue training our young performers and that is our next fundraising project!! For those who saw their world premiere, weren’t they lovely? Weren’t they an exciting addition? You can make checks out to Eth-Noh-Tec and send to Eth-Noh-Tec, 977 S. Van Ness, SF CA 94110. Or CLICK HERE:

In Closing:
We are so proud of what we created. It was a tremendous amount of work for us, but in the end, what an outcome!

Following this report are some pictures from the festival! We think you’ll see how wonderful it was just by looking at the photos. Enjoy!

Thank you again for your participation in our festival – a festival always to be remembered!


“Once upon a time…” and still true to this day, sojourners and immigrants from the Asian world have transformed the American world since the 1700’s bringing with them their rich heritages of myth and folk tales as well as weaving their new stories spun from their experiences in the American world.

Now, 300 years later, imagine a stage filled with other nationally recognized, professional Asian American storytellers, weaving traditional and contemporary stories that celebrate Asian culture through their stories!

Come the FIRST, an Asian American Storyfest happening in the SF Bay Area!  We’re always making history!


Witness the humor and pathos of Arif Choudhury; the heroic WWII Japanese American soldier stories, and tales from Hawaii from Alton Takiyama Chung; pan Asian tales and myths through movement, music and the spoken word from Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec; tales of humor and delicacy told with Motoko’s words and mime movements; the various Asian tales impeccably told by Anne Shimojima; and the fantastical Asian world tales of Brenda Wong-Aoki.

PLUS! The debut performance of Eth-Noh-Tec’s newly formed ENSEMBLE: featuring NEXT Generation Asian American movement theatrer storytellers: Tatiana Chaterji, Radhika Rao, Julia Ajin Choi.


GENERAL AUDIENCE CONCERTS FRI. MAY 9 & SAT. MAY 10: : Come hear the stories from within barb-wire concentration camps, to beyond the lofty Himalayan mountains, from myths that echoed in palaces of ancient India and China, to the tales from the streets of urban Asian America.  These storytellers will conjure many worlds… stories of insight and imagination, both real and unreal, a listening journey with a panoramic view sweeping from Asia to Asian America. (appropriate for adults and mature youth) NOTE (3 different shows, All Different Stories! See below for locations/ times)

FAMILY MATINEE “An Asian Occasion” – This fun-filled afternoon of delightful Asian folk tales and myths is set in the world of your imagination where all things are possible! A world where there are Wise Fools and Foolish Kings, Clever Tricksters and wistful forest spirits! Come here the stories of laughter and caution, wisdom and wit through traditional stories from cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and more.  Great for families of all ages (age approrpiate for K-5 grades and families; one show only at OACC). Featured tellers: Motoko, Anne Shimojima, Eth-Noh-Tec & The Ensemble SAT. MAY 10, 1:30 pm (Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr. 388 9th Street #290)

FISHBOWL CONVERSATION: “Why me? Why Storytelling?” (only at OACC). A school librarian? a social worker, a dancer, oceanographer, … how did these ordinary people enter the extraordinary world of professional storytelling.  Like the reluctant hero and heroine in Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth”, each of these artists set out on a journey, unbeknownst to them they would find along the way a sense of Asian American identity, a sense belonging to community, a gift of service, and a place called home, where the Art of the narrative joins compassion. Come hear the many voices…and these stories. Location: SAT. MAY 10: 7:00 pm FREE! (Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr, 388 9th Street #290)


MAY 9: FRI. “Pan Asia Fantasia” GENERAL AUDIENCE CONCERT – One night only with all the storytellers (8:00 pm- 10:00 pm; Mission Cultural Center; 2868 Mission Street, SF)

MAY 10: SAT. “An Asian Occasion” FAMILY MATINEE, Featured tellers: Motoko, Anne Shimojima, Eth-Noh-Tec & The Ensemble (1:30 pm- 3:00 pm; Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr. 388 9th Street #290)

MAY 10: SAT “From the Voice of the Heart” GENERAL AUDIENCE CONCERT, Featured National Tellers:  Alton Takiyama Chung, Arif Choudhury, Brenda Wong Aoki, & Eth-Noh-Tec (3:30 pm- 5:00 pm; Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr. 388 9th Street #290)

MAY 10: SAT. “Why Me? Why Storytelling?” PANEL DISCUSSION All Featured National Tellers (7:00 pm; Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr. 388 9th Street #290)

MAY 10: SAT. “Mythos, Message and Mirth”GENERAL AUDIENCE CONCERT, All Tellers (8:00pm; ; Oakland Asian Cultural Ctr. 388 9th Street #290)

TICKET PRICES: Go online http://tinyurl.com/asianamstoryfesttickets

Single Show Cost – $15 Adult (door $20); $10 Child under 12 (door: $15)

Full Festival/ All Shows: $50 Adult (door $100); $40 Child under 12 (door: $75)

Special/ All shows: “Tribe of Ten”: $13 per person *

*(“Tribe of Ten”: minimum 10 people; adults only)

Besides attending our festival, how about contributing to the Festival Production Campaign? Your donation will aide us in offsetting the cost of production and guarantee a marvelous experience for both the visiting artists and the community.

And, you can also become a volunteer at the festival.  Just contact us: contact@ethnohtec.org

This article has 2 Comments

  1. The panel is free and will be very interesting! And, Eth-Noh-Tec has a budding apprentice program of performers who will make their premiere appearance at the festival!!!

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