Mary is interested in questions surrounding authenticity, identity and “Japanese-ness” in the context of the UK taiko scene and thereby hopes to understand the “who” and “why” of taiko drumming in the UK as well as the wider global scene.
As a performing taiko player and group leader, Mary has been instrumental in bringing taiko drumming – a relatively new community music genre – to Yorkshire. She plays with Kaminari UK taiko drummers who have built up a reputation across the region for their energetic and unique playing style at beer festivals, folk festivals, cosplay and charity events, as well as innovating and pushing the boundaries of modern taiko with the Yokai Demon Drummers show. She also organises the annual Three Counties Taiko Weekend Workshop which is a model of sharing skills and good practice for taiko players across the north of England.
Through her research at the ICCM, Mary hopes to deepen her understanding of taiko as community music and learn from other community music traditions as well.
In her day job, Mary is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language at York St John University.