Featured Stories

Rediscovering Ramen: A Chat with Toki Underground’s Chef-Owner Erik Bruner-Yang

[caption id="attachment_9985" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Photo by Hannah Colclazier"][/caption] Erik Bruner-Yang may have opened Toki Underground in Washington, D.C. two and a half years ago, but lines at the modern ramen shop haven’t gotten any shorter. A casual survey of Yelp reviews shows three or four hour waits on weekends—and customers willing to stick around. “We’re lucky that we have such a good clientele and that we’re busy every day,” he says. “We’re still…

Loops of Yarn

by Annie Lin I didn't learn to knit from my grandmother, even though she was a knitter. She spent almost every summer in the backyard of our house in suburban Southern California, perhaps because plane tickets out of Taiwan were cheaper then or perhaps because it was a way to escape the humidity of Taipei in July. When she wasn't weeding the garden or laundering our clothes with a bar of slippery brown soap, she was sitting in a lawn chair next to a plastic bag of green or gray yarn and knitting…

The Making of the Taiwanese American Identity

Growing up in the Taiwanese American community, I learned as a child the importance of understanding how history and politics shape and define our community. We become well versed in geopolitics across the span of several centuries, including comparative cases of identity formation and nationhood. We learn the story of how groups of diverse peoples living on an island, called Ilha Formosa by Portuguese sailors on a Spanish ship, became caught between the warring visions of ambitious and powerful…

"A Memories Chase" With Timothy Den of Ohvaur

What's your story? It's the simplest of questions with the most complex of answers guaranteed. For many Asian Americans, the answer begins with our parents emboldened by the pipe dream of a better life for themselves and their family. The roads leading towards this dream were tumultuous for so many generations preceding us, wrought with unfathomable hardships and obstacles.  For Timothy Den of the Chicago and Miami-based independent band, Ohvaur, these roads were a reality he experienced first…

Roots and Leaves

My grandmother brews smells in the kitchen long before I learn that olfaction is the sense most loaded with memories. Thighbones filled with creamy marrow bubbling in beef stew; young bamboo stems boiled, cooled on ice cubes and dipped in sesame oil; braised three-layered-pork; preserved eggs and soybeans stir-fried with short hot peppers that go straight to the insides of your forehead and rouse a cacophony of sneezes. Hers are recipes thick with nostalgia, dripping sauces and spices preserved from…

In Memory of my Son, Keimay Yang – A Devoted Supporter of ITASA

I am Agnes Wu, and I would like to share a story about my son, Keimay Yang, which happened nearly five years ago… one month before he passed away. As Ho Chie Tsai, the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org and a friend of my son, shared with me, “Keimay spent more time thinking about others, not just friends and family, but even strangers. His true character really shined.” It is this story about Keimay’s values that I hope will resonate with the ITASA community: One late afternoon in September…