Posts from the ‘Performances’ Category

Asian American StoryFest

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)


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:

Filed as: At the Moment, Performances, Programs  

Asian Tales of Terror

Stories of Demons, Ghouls, and Corpses to haunt your imagination

Filed as: At the Moment, Performances  

Orcas Storyfest 2013!: The 5th Storytelling Festival!


Dates: July 29th through August 2nd, 2013

Events: Once again Eth-Noh-Tec brings national storytellers to Orcas Island with a wonderful treat for the San Juans.

Featured tellers will be Judith Black (Massachusetts), Heather Forest (New York), Kirk Waller, and Ruth Halpern (California) and Doug Banner (Washington), including Orcas Island’s own Anji Ringzin and Antoinette Botsford, and of course island part-timers Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec of San Francisco.

“Be ready to relish in the great tradition and fine art of storytelling!” beams Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, proud of it’s 5th cycle of this biennial festival started in 2004.

The art form is by no means a ‘dying art’. Though the word ‘storytelling’ has been eagerly absorbed by modern media (e.g.: “That film director is a great storyteller!”), traditional, oral, live storytelling has in fact experienced a rebirth through its thousands of annual festivals, conferences, guilds, networks, and organizations found throughout the world. The world is truly a world of storytelling, preserving traditions, honoring ancestors and history, informing and inspired listeners, but most importantly, igniting peoples’ imaginations.

Robert adds: “As humans, we are wired for stories. We even communicate with stories. To quote Robert Bellah: “Narrative … is more than literature; it is the way we understand our lives.”
Nancy brightens up with: “We are very excited to share our colleagues and friends with the island. Whether through a wisdom tale, a journey tale, even a silly or ghost tale, there is always a lesson to learn. Yes, stories are entertaining, and it is this non-threatening entertainment in which people are relaxed and open enough to learn and deepen their sense of self, their sense of their world.”

“And, in the end, the question is which story do you choose to live?” asks Robert.
Six public programs sponsored by Friends of the Orcas Island Library will be as follows:

– Mon., July 29, 6:00 pm: “Pajama Tales”, Library, – wear your “jammies”! (Free)

– Tues., July 30, 1:30 pm: “Wisdom, Wit, and Wily Ways”, Senior Center, (Free)

– Tues., July 30, 7:30 pm: “Ghost Stories”, Funhouse (Donation)

– Wed., July 31, 7:30 pm: “Sacred Stories, Sounds of Spirit”, Emmanuel Episcopal Hall (Free)

– Thurs. Aug 1, 7:30 pm: “World of Stories” Odd Fellows Hall (Sliding Scale Donation)

– Fri. Aug 2, 7:30 pm: “Why Stories? Why Sing?” Senior Center (Donation)

Of special note are three new fesatures. First is: “Sacred Stories, Sounds of Spirit”– at the Emmanuel Episopal Parish Hall. These stories will guide the listener home to a place of compassion, spiritual awareness and draw from the sages and saints from various religious traditions as well as enlightenment found in dailiy mindfulness. Special musical guests will be the harmonic encantations of “The Bhajans”. They are local. They are vocal. Sometimes electric, definitely spiritually eccletic!

The second storytelling program of note is the end-of-the-week, event: “Why Stories?, Why Sing?”, a “fishbowl” forum discussion in the round, sharing examples of storytelling in action, in community settings. Each of the tellers will share various storytelling projects they are doing in their neighborhoods and abroad to improve well-being in communities. To underscore the theme of community-building, the event will culminate with a sing-along! Partake of the stories. Join in the singing! (Senior Center Aug 2, 7:30pm)

Lastly we need to mention the musical guests that will embellish the festival. Aforementioned are the Bhajans and their spiritual harmonies appearing at the evening of “Sacred Stories”. Also at the Senior Center’s “Wisdom” afternoon concert will open with the oldies but but goldies repertoire of the Senior Center Songbirds. The final evening show, “World of Stories” will take musical flight with the doo-woppin’, guitar strumming, foot-tappin’ four part harmonies of the Parking Angels.

Nancy and Robert wish to thank all the wonderful islanders who donate meals, produce, lodging, friendship and activities to our tellers who donate their time and talents to the festival! A special thanks to Mindplace and The Friends of the Library for their sponsorship of the festival. Please consider joining their ranks with a contribution.
For more details visit: (click on ‘Fifth Orcas Storyfest’) or look for A-frames and flyers around town!

Producer: Eth-Noh-Tec is an award-winning, national and internationally recognized Asian American performing arts non-profit founded in 1981 by Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo. They present ancient Asian folktales and contemporary Asian American stories that inspire and reveal our universal truths. Eth-Noh-Tec has created an exciting new blend of storytelling and kinetic theater – a mixed alchemy of music, theater, dance and the spoken word to challenge the borders between theater, movement, mime and storytelling.

Filed as: At the Moment, Orcas Storyfest, Performances, Programs  

3/9/13: Salon! You’re ON!


Spring is almost “Springing” and time for the Arts to BLOOM! Come join us for an evening of music, theater, visual arts and storytelling at the Eth-Noh-Tec monthly salon series! This months featured artists: Sofia Choir directed by Kay Kleinerman, presenting the graduate students in transpersonal psychology at Sofia University who come together for the love of singing. The Sofia Choir derives great joy from expressing their voices through song and from singing a variety of repertoire.

Theater artists Isaac Peacecraft and Tim Edwards perform “The Philadelphia”, the theatrical antics of the hilarious two person short play from a collection of comedies called “All In The Timing” by David Ives.

Patricia Bulitt “The Paper Dress Apology”… presents a performance art dance inspired by a horrific image from the US War in Iraq. Donned in a paper dress sculpture painted with collage and imbued with poetry, Ms Bulitt explores a path to the heart through an improvised and compassionate dance of “apology”.

Elaine Chan-Scherer creates art that connects us to the Sacred Feminine through her Red Madonna series. Her paintings and spoken word will be accompanied by the music of Chris Sequiera & Tina Smelser.

Eth-Noh-Tec kinetic story theater with Nancy Wang & Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo weave ancient myth with modern message that is lyrical and synchronous tandem telling fused with movement theater.

Date & Time: Sat Mar 9, 2013 at 7pm
Location: Eth-Noh-Tec Studio 977 South Van Ness Ave SF CA 94110
(between 20th & 21 st Streets; close to 24th Street BART)
Tickets at the door (sliding scale/ donated suggestion): $10- $25

Filed as: Performances, Salon! You're On!  

Eth-Noh-Tec Goes Hawaiian (On Tour!) Oct 14 – Nov 5!

Schools, libraries, community centers and theater throughout the islands will enjoy the storytelling of our stories this Fall. So far the dynamic duo is slated for over 20 performances some of which will include our Asian ghost stories right in time for Halloween. If anyone has friends, families or colleagues in Hawaii, be sure to let them know that Eth-Noh-Tec will on a local stage in their neighborhood!

There are a few open time slots if you know of any schools or organizations that want our performance. Contact us immediately!

Oct 14-15: arrival, and culture/climate shock adjustment!
Oct 16: Punahou School, Honolulu, Oahu; 1:30 pm
Oct 16: Aina Haina Library; Honolulu, Oahu; 6:30 pm
Oct 17: Kaneohe Library, Kaneohe, Oahu; 6:30 pm
Oct 18: Kailua Library, Kailua, Oahu; 6:30 pm
Oct 19: Talk Story Theater, McCoy Pavillion, Honolulu, Oahu; 6:20 pm (Robert’s solo) & 8:00 pm
Oct 20: Talk Story Theater, McCoy Pavillion, Honolulu, Oahu; 7:00 pm (Nancy’s solo) & 8:40 pm
Oct 21: Koele Lodge, Lanai; 3:00 pm
Oct 22: Makawao Library, Maui; 6:30 pm
Oct 23: Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Maui; 9:00 am & 10:00 am
Oct 24: Molokai Library, Molokai; 3:00 pm
Oct 25: Kahuku Library, Kahuku, Honolulu, Oahu; 10:00 am
Oct 25: Aiea Library, Aiea, Oahu; 2:30 pm
Oct 25: S.W. King School, Honolulu, Oahu; 5:30 pm
Oct 26: Kapolei Library, Kapolei, Oahu; 10:30 am
Oct 26: McCully-Molili Library, Honolulu, Oahu; 3:00 pm
Oct 27: Orvis Hall, University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu, Oahu; 7:30 pm
Oct 28- 30: break
Oct 31: private evening party, Kauai
Nov 1: Princeville Library, Princeville, Kauai; 10:30 am
Nov 2: Hale Kula School, Wahiawa, Oahu (Robert’s solo workshop and show); 1:00 pm
Nov 3-4: break
Nov 5: return to SF
– – – –
SF Bay Area Performances:
Sept 30: UC Berkeley’s Fall Free For All; Eth-Noh-Tec will be at Wheeler Hall; 1:00 pm
Nov 13: Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga; 9:30 & 11:30 am

Filed as: Performances