Michelle Fujii - Guest Artist

ShastaYama 2008 Photo: Jim Gilmore

Michelle Fujii is known for her innovative fusion of taiko and dance and is recognized as a leader in the development of taiko in America.

Michelle started taiko training as a youngster with San Jose Taiko and later led UCLA's Kyodo Taiko. She has toured with San Jose Taiko, On Ensemble, and TAIKOPROJECT. Fujii was the Artistic Director for Portland Taiko and helped develop the group's presentations to new and higher levels.

Ms. Fujii received a Bunka-cho fellowship from the Japanese government to study with one of Japan's foremost traditional folk dance groups, Warabiza and dance master, Shohei Kikuchi.

She and husband and fellow Portland artist, Toru Watanabe, have formed a new exciting professional taiko company, UNIT SOUZOU, that creatively combines dance, taiko, theater, and collaborations with various artists to develop new possibilities for the performing arts.

Ms. Fujii has also served on the North American Taiko Conference Advisory Board and is recognized for influencing a growing American collegiate taiko movement.

Since 2002, Michelle has been a perennial Shasta Taiko guest artist and a large part of ShastaYama's success. Her presence adds depth and elegance to ShastaYama's beauty and appeal.

ShastaYama 2007 Photo: Tom Pava