STRONG LIKE BAMBOO
On May 28th and June 13, 2023, seven professional Asian American storytellers, co- hosted by Eth-Noh-Tec, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and NOHspace, shared their stories of discrimination and the ways they alchemized these experiences to not only survive, but thrive in this continuing era of racialized violence and anti-Asian sentiment.
A panel followed, facilitated by Russell Jeung, PhD, Professor of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and co- founder of StopAAPIHate. Participants then gathered in small groups (and breakout rooms for virtual participants via Zoom) and shared their own stories, practicing compassionate and supportive listening. The events ended by celebrating our survivance with music performed by Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and a senior Chinese women's rap group, the Grant Avenue Follies!
We encourage viewers to check out the rest of the videos from the Strong Like Bamboo events - write to us in the comments, we’d love to hear your stories too. We also encourage viewers to watch the videos created by the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) at https://aparri.org/transformative-hope/, to hear from Asian American religious leaders who leaned into their faith to move through experiences of targeted racial violence. We hope these videos can support you on your own healing journeys.
strong like bamboo: stories of Resilience for Healing in the Era of Anti-Asian Violence
Eth-Noh-Tec, founded in 1981 by Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, is interdisciplinary story theater of precision choreography, music and lyrical word-weaving. Performing ancient Asian mythologies, folktales and urban legends along with contemporary Asian American inspiring stories, Eth-Noh-Tec has created an exciting new blend of storytelling and kinetic theater. Eth-Noh-Tec performs nationally and internationally, have appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and PBS, and are most proud to have performed in President Clinton’s and Obama’s Inaugural Celebrations. Eth-Noh-Tec is a recipient of the NSN’s ORACLE Circle of Excellence and International StoryBridge awards.
Storyteller nancy wang
Nancy Wang, playwright, director, actor, project manager is the founding co-director of Eth-Noh-Tec, an Asian American storytelling theater non-profit, with her husband Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo. Drawing on her background in modern and ethnic dance, theater and playwriting, she co-scripts and sculpts Eth-Noh-Tec’s synchronistic and seamless tandem movements. As a playwright, her plays of Asian American themes include: Leave Me My Dreaming; Unspeakable Moons; Takashi’s Dream; In Need of Goddesses; Bittersweet; Red Altar; and Shadows & Secrets. She is also the author A New Pair of Wings and the book Red Altar.
storyteller robert kikuchi-yngojo
Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, co-director of Eth-Noh-Tec, composer, creative consultant, multi-media graphic designer. In 1977, Robert began composing and performing songs celebrating vanishing towns and heroes of Asian America. In 1981, he co-founded Kalilang with Nancy, pioneering and introducing Southern Pilipino kulintang gong music and dance to Northern California with a school and performing company. He received the prestigious NEA Folk Arts award to forward the research and performance of this indigenous music in the Filipino Community. 1987: having studied traditional Asian instruments and contemporary western modalities, he co-created Eth-Noh-Tec's unique style of storytelling using language rhythmic and lyrical. He has written and co-written over 100 folktale performances. He composed film scores for Wayne Wang Chan is Missing and Eat a Bowl of Tea, Felicia Lowe Carved in Silence; performing/songwriting for Asian American Yokohama, California; Bamboo Brew; The Noh Buddies. He is also a visual artist.
Storyteller Linda yemoto
For over 30 years, Linda was known as “Ranger Linda” to thousands of Bay Area school children and families in her career as a naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District. Since retiring, she has become a storyteller and docent at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where she loves interpreting the art through stories. Linda has been honored with a “Regional Gem” award from the Storytelling Association of California.
Storyteller Eleanor clement glass
Eleanor Clement Glass is a Volunteer Storyteller at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, a Storybridge Teaching Artist in Oakland Public Schools and on the YOUTUBE channel Asian American Storytopia. She performed family stories from her Black and Filipino heritage at the National Storytelling Network Conference in 2020 and 2021 Asian American Showcases, Artists Standing Strong Together, Storytelling Association of California and local community venues in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Storyteller mj kang
M.J. Kang is a playwright, actor, director, improviser, and storyteller. She is the first Korean-Canadian playwright to be produced professionally. She has had nine plays produced at Tarragon Theater, Theater Passes Muraille, Factory Theater, and many others. Her play, Asians Dating, was featured in Pan Asian Rep's NuWorks Festival 2021 in New York City.
Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung grew up with the stories, superstitions, and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands. This gives him a unique perspective when telling stories of Hawaii, of WWII Japanese-Americans, and Asian folktales. His finely spun stories, rooted in a very unique culture and a one-of-a kind perspective, are delivered with a deep sense of reverence and authenticity. He has performed across the U.S. and abroad, including international storytelling festivals in the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Network.
Featuring the Grant Avenue Follies
Featured song: "Gai Mou Sou Rap"
Grant Avenue Follies brings to life the legacy of San Francisco Chinatown’s golden nightclub era.
The Follies enjoys a loyal following of seniors, many of whom frequented the Chinatown nightclubs of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s such as the Forbidden City, the Sky Room and Shanghai Low. However, Grant Avenue Follies has also seen its share of appreciation from “20-somethings” taking an interest in its unique roots in San Francisco Chinatown history.
Since the Grant Avenue Follies was formed they have had a robust schedule with performances at events and venues such as Gray Cabaret, On Lok Senior Health Services, Self Help for the Elderly, the VA Hospital, Laguna Honda Hospital, Chinese Hospital fundraisers, Asian Perinatal Advocates, Asian Women Resource Center, Chinatown Badminton Club, Chinatown Opti-Ms. Club, Asian Pacific Islanders Festival 2006, St. Mary’s Day Care, San Francisco History Association, Cowell Theater, The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and American Vets Day at the Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Yountville, California.