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Where EAST meets the Northwest

HISTORY DOCUMENTED. Mr. Tornado, a documentary about Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita, a Japanese-American scientist who devoted his life to unlocking the mysteries of severe storms, airs May 11 on OPB Plus. (Photo courtesy of Roger Tully)

HONORING ASIAN HERITAGE. Kam Wah Chung, an episode of Oregon Experience, tells the story of herbal doctor Ing Hay and businessman Lung On, who practiced medicine and operated a general store at Kam Wah Chung & Co. in John Day, Oregon. The show is airing May 13 on OPB Plus. Pictured is Kam Wah Chung & Co., circa 1930. (Photo courtesy of the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum)

From The Asian Reporter, V32, #5 (May 2, 2022), pages 13 & 16.

Oregon Public Broadcasting releases schedule of shows airing during Asian Heritage Month

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) has assembled a schedule of Asian-related programs, shows, and documentaries that will air during Asian Heritage Month. The organization has gathered together pieces created by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Pacific Heartbeat, Independent Lens, and others.

The list includes locally produced shows, such as an episode of Oregon Experience focusing on the Kam Wah Chung & Co. general store in John Day, Oregon, as well as segments of the five-part Asian Americans series that traces the epic story of Asian Americans spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations, and cultural innovation.

The programming will air on both OPB and OPB Plus. For more information, call (503) 293-1982. To learn more, or to view the full schedule online, visit <>.

Below is a partial schedule:

Try Harder!

May 2, 11:00pm, OPB

Try Harder!, an episode of Independent Lens, takes place at Lowell High School, San Francisco’s academic pressure cooker, where the kids are stressed out. With a majority Asian-American student body, high-achieving seniors share their dreams and anxieties about getting into a top university.

"Finding Your Roots: Reporting on the Reporters"

May 3, 8:00pm, OPB

"Reporting on the Reporters," an episode of "Finding Your Roots," features host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. exploring the family histories of journalists Ann Curry, Lisa Ling, and Christiane Amanpour.

"High Tide, Don’t Hide"

May 3, 11:00pm, OPB

"High Tide, Don’t Hide," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, follows New Zealand teens as they join a School Strike for Climate.

Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami

May 4, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

On the morning of April 1, 1946, a deadly tsunami reduced Shinmachi to rubble. In Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami, discover the resilience of a unique Japanese community in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Their stories bring to life the once-thriving small business district founded by Japanese immigrant plantation laborers who made the bold decision to establish their economic independence from the sugar industry.

"James & Isey"

May 8, 8:00pm, OPB Plus & May 10, 11:00pm, OPB

"James & Isey," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, follows a New Zealand woman who prepares for her 100th birthday with her son.

Waterman: Duke, Ambassador of Aloha

May 10, 9:00pm, OPB & May 29, 8:00pm, OPB Plus

Waterman: Duke, Ambassador of Aloha, by American Masters, tells the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medallist Duke Kahanamoku, who shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges. Waterman is narrated by Jason Momoa.

Asian Americans: "Breaking Ground"

May 11, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

In an era of exclusion, new immigrants arrived in the U.S. from China, India, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Eventually barred by anti-Asian laws, the first show in the epic five-part Asian Americans series — "Breaking Ground" — tells how the newcomers became America’s first "undocumented immigrants" even as they built railroads and dazzled on the silver screen. They also took the fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Tornado

May 11, 8:00pm, OPB Plus

Mr. Tornado is a documentary about Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita, a Japanese-American scientist who devoted his life to unlocking the mysteries of severe storms.


May 13, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

"Bloodline" is a profile of Vietnamese-American chef Tu David Phu and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic. The program follows Tu as he returns home to Oakland, California, after competing on the cooking series "Top Chef." From the son of refugees growing up in West Oakland to a professional chef, Tu’s acclaimed culinary creations are heralded as the next wave of Asian fusion representing Vietnamese culture.

Kam Wah Chung

May 13, 7:30pm, OPB Plus

Kam Wah Chung, an episode of Oregon Experience, tells the story of herbal doctor Ing Hay and businessman Lung On, who practiced medicine and operated a general store at Kam Wah Chung & Co. in John Day, Oregon.

"Loimata, the Sweetest Tears"

May 15, 8:00pm, OPB Plus

"Loimata, the Sweetest Tears," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, follows a family returning to their Samoan homeland.

The Chinese Exclusion Act

May 15, 9:00pm, OPB Plus

The Chinese Exclusion Act, a documentary screening as part of American Experience, explores the history of Chinese immigration to the United States and its significance to issues of globalization, immigration, labor, and civil rights today through powerful and illuminating visuals, historical documents, testimonies, and the insight of scholars and experts.

Massacre at Hells Canyon

May 16, 9:00pm, OPB

Massacre at Hells Canyon, an episode of Oregon Experience, details an 1887 incident in which as many as 34 Chinese gold miners were massacred on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon in what was likely the nation’s worst massacre of Chinese people. Though the culprits were well known, no one was ever convicted and the crime was largely forgotten.

Tyrus Wong

May 17, 10:00pm, OPB

Tyrus Wong, by American Masters, tells the story of the renowned Chinese-American painter.

Asian Americans: "A Question of Loyalty"

May 18, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

An American-born generation straddles their country of birth and the homelands of their parents in "A Question of Loyalty," an episode of the five-part series, Asian Americans. Those loyalties are tested during World War II when families are imprisoned in detention camps and brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines.

Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story

May 20, 9:00pm, OPB Plus

Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story is a documentary that follows the history of the Mineta family and the hardships they endured, including incarceration during World War II, blatant and systemic racism, and more.

"Touching the Sound"

May 21, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

"Touching the Sound" traces the artistic development of young pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, from his early ability to play piano by ear, undeterred by his lifelong blindness, to his gold medal triumph in the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to his debut at Carnegie Hall. Highlighting the power of music in overcoming hardship, Tsujii performs his own uplifting compositions, alongside those of Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Liszt, while touring the 2011 tsunami-devastated coastline of Japan.

The Donut King

May 21, 8:00pm, OPB Plus

The Donut King, an episode of Independent Lens, tells the story of a Cambodian refugee who built a multi-million-dollar donut empire.

"The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu"

May 22, 8:00pm, OPB Plus

"The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, explores Honolulu’s symbolic stones.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

May 22, 9:00pm, OPB Plus

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, from POV, tells viewers about Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted in 75 years of the labor, civil rights, and Black Power movements, she continually challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively, and redefine revolution for our times.

Asian Americans: "Good Americans"

May 25, 7:00pm, OPB Plus

Part of the five-part series Asian Americans, "Good Americans" addresses the Cold War years, when Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a model minority and targeted as a perpetual foreigner. Bold ambition also emerges, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office and a coming culture-quake simmers beneath the surface.

"The World of the May’s Photo Studio"

May 28, 9:30pm, OPB Plus

"The World of the May’s Photo Studio," an episode of Vanishing Chinatown, chronicles San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1900s.

Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi

May 29, 9:30pm, OPB Plus

Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi is a film that tells the story of music teacher Harry Urata and his efforts to record, preserve, and perpetuate the musical oral histories of Japanese immigrants who worked in Hawai‘i’s sugarcane fields in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. Through their canefield songs, or holehole bushi, the women sang about their joys and sorrows of trying to start life in a new world.


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