Summer Taiko Institute: Women and Taiko

Women and Taiko: Past, Present, and Future
August 8-10, 2017 (9AM Tues – 12PM Thurs)
Buddhist Temple of San Diego (San Diego, CA)

Led and Facilitated by: Tiffany Tamaribuchi and Karen Young
Organized by TaikoBaka’s Sarah Ayako and Sascha Molina

This 2.5 day session will focus on looking at the role that women play in our community. Who are they? How have they contributed to the artform? How have they influenced and shaped our taiko culture? What are women currently doing and what can be done to make their expertise more widely known?

There is a spectrum of women in the taiko community. Women play for different reasons and have different relationships to the artform. Some women lead groups, some are researchers, some teach or lead practice, some are solo professionals, some are high school/collegiate players, some are dedicated members or students, some play critical behind the scenes roles organizing their group, some consider themselves activists, some organize their local community/regional events, others are responsible for organizing major productions, festivals and conferences and don’t play at all. Women also have different relationships to a women’s identity and/or community of women. What is clear is that these women have a passion for taiko and are an essential part of our thriving, diverse community.


Through diverse and distinguished panel presentations, small group discussions, and facilitated interactive exercises (including playing taiko!), we will:

  • Highlight and celebrate the women pioneers in the North American Taiko Community and beyond,
  • Identify the strengths, challenges, and needs of women in the taiko community,
  • Discuss what leadership looks like both on and off the stage,
  • Provide tips, strategies, and mentorship on a wide range of taiko pathways (including performance, touring, activism, workshop leading, teaching, and production and more)


This 2.5 day session will focus largely on building relationships with each other, sharing women’s stories of challenge and triumph, and emphasize planning for the future. Whether you are a veteran soloist or a leader in a long standing group or a new player just starting out, you will leave with an increased knowledge of the leadership roles women play in the taiko community, inspiration, tools, and concepts to help identify your next steps as a taiko practitioner, a greater sense of connectedness, and a new community of taiko friends that you can call upon for support.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Appropriate breakout/affinity groups will be determined as needed. A pre-conference survey for all participants will be developed to better understand the reasons, goals, and needs of those attending this session.


  • Tuesday, 8/8 – 9 AM to 8 PM
  • Wednesday, 8/9 – 9 AM to 8 PM
  • Thursday, 8/10 9 – AM to 12 PM


On Tuesday, for the Pioneers panel:
PJ Hirabayashi, San Jose Taiko Emeritus/TaikoPeace
Chizuko Endo, Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble/Taiko Center of the Pacific
Kay Fukumoto, Maui Taiko
Linda Hoffman, Sawagi Taiko
On Wednesday for the Professional Artists panel:
Tomomi Hongo, Nakama Daiko/El Marino Niji Daiko/Prota
Michelle Fujii, Unit Souzou
Nicole Stansbury, Odaiko Sonora
Yurika Chiba, San Jose Taiko
On Thursday for the Global Perspective panel:
Janet Koike, Maze Daiko/Rhythmix
Isabel Romeo Biedma, Ishho Daiko (Spain)
Lucy Thomas, Kagemusha Taiko (UK)
MJ McKenty, Hinode Taiko, INC (Canada)


*Cost is inclusive of LUNCH and DINNER daily for the duration of the event.

*Housing is not included

DONOR RATE:  $350/person is requested if you would like to contribute to offset the cost of someone else’s registration
REGULAR RATE:  $275/person
SCHOLARSHIP RATE: $175/person for young adults under the age of 26 and experienced taiko leaders with financial need.

*Those applying for a scholarship rate will be asked to write 1-2 paragraphs stating their financial situation and taiko leadership experience. Scholarships will be granted on a first come first served basis.