Portland Taiko’s mission statement: Through innovation and artistic excellence in taiko, we affirm Asian-American pride, inspire audiences, build community, and educate about our culture and heritage.
Portland Taiko founders, Ann Ishimaru and Zach Semke, were central figures responsible for creating Portland’s first Mochitsuki in 1996. Since then Portland Taiko has always been important for Mochitsuki’s continued success.
Currently, Portland Taiko’s main role in Mochitsuki is producing the stage show. Artistic Director Michelle Fujii takes the lead on organization and coordinating, while PT members assist crew and performers backstage. In addition to helping out, PT also performs in the show!
Mochitsuki is a very important event in the Asian American and Japanese American communities, and therefore at the very core of our mission statement. It is a special opportunity where we can not only share our art form and enjoy other artists, but also network and build community with other volunteers and event-goers. And of course, we love MOCHI!