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The Blue Suit

Hosted and created by award-winning poet Shin Yu Pai, The Blue Suit is about commonplace objects and the people who transform them into something remarkable. From a Chinese-English dictionary passed from father to son to an old califone playing records left behind by Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII, The Blue Suit will reexamine what gets elevated to heirloom status.

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We’re wrapping up our first season of The Blue Suit and we’d like to hear your thoughts about the show. If you have a few minutes please consider answering our brief survey here. Your feedback will really help us as we plan for future episodes. Thanks for taking the time to fill it out.

Additional credits: Logo art by Melissa Takai. Music by Tomo Nakayama. Promo audio by Hans Twite.


  • caption:  Paul Kikuchi next to the Califone in the Panama Hotel Tea Room

    A record player is a time machine

    The vintage Califone record player allows sound artist Paul Kikuchi to access and share songs that he inherited from his great-grandfather and other 78rpm records that were left behind by Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.

  • caption: Glass orbs glow in Etsuko Ichikawa's Poems of Broken Fireflies.

    A glassy gift shines a new path

    In a small clear box, Etsuko Ichikawa keeps a small piece of vitrified glass that was given to her on a tour of the Hanford nuclear site.

  • caption: Tomo and his favorite miso.

    A flavor creates harmony

    Tomo Nakayama usually puts his creative energy into his harmonious music. But when the pandemic hit, he found a new outlet: cooking.

  • caption: Anida Yoeu Ali, The Red Chador, Paris 2015 Performance.

    A garment unveils an identity

    A chador garment worn by some Muslim women is usually black. Not Anida Yoeu Ali's. Her chador is red and sparkly.

  • Blue_Suit_Horizontal.png

    Trailer: The Blue Suit

    In a world full of stuff, what is worth keeping? What do we treasure? Explore modern-day heirlooms with The Blue Suit, a new KUOW podcast hosted and created by PNW poet Shin Yu Pai.