Call for Arts Business Interns
Live and Work with SHIDARA in JAPAN
SHIDARA's intensive internship is an introduction to the
business dynamics and operation of a professional Japanese taiko
company. Individuals gain hands-on training, career mentoring by
key directors of a major world arts company, and experience
working in a traditional Japanese manner. During the 2-month
program, interns learn about SHIDARA'S mission while working on
international tour production. Life at SHIDARA is rigorous and
devoted to the enjoyment of excellence in art and business. There
is no stipend, but all lodging and food are provided.
Work on all aspects of tour production/management.
Receive occasional taiko training and serve as staff at
Help run SHIDARA's facility alongside members.
At least 18 years old with strong work ethics.
Minimum 2 yrs taiko, performing arts, production, lighting or
Knowledge of PC computers.
Rudimentary understanding of Japanese.
You must be flexible, independent and willing to learn about and
live within Japanese culture.
Application Information and Requirements
Each applicant is required to submit an application form, two
essays, and a resume including 2 references. Download application
form and mail to Megan Chao Smith at Shidara.
Key staff members
Mayumi Nishitani, President and Director
Chisato Kano, Finance and Administration
Megan Chao Smith, Performer, US and European Tour Director
Many long-standing members at SHIDARA provide instruction.
CHABO has written and choreographed almost everything at SHIDARA
to date, and is principal director and instructor. CHABO's first
national workshop tour of the United States took place in 2007.
Ryuichi Hasegawa, with the group since 1990, holds one of the
strongest managing and artistic roles in SHIDARA. He shares
instruction of the group alongside Chabo, giving workshops and
touring with SHIDARA worldwide.
About Our Home in Toeicho, Japan
SHIDARA lives in a town called Toei, deep in the forest
mountains in what was formerly an elementary school. The seasonal
weather is extreme with an extended rainy season. There is a local
train that takes you to the nearest larger city, which is an hour
and a half away. All members live together, training, cleaning,
cooking and running the facility.
Frequently Asked Questions
■With whom will I work?
Megan Chao Smith is both a performer and in charge of all US
and European tour production . Interns work very closely with
Megan, and interact with Shidara's administrative leader, Mayumi
Nishitani. Interns must be tough and passionate about being here.
The best candidate takes instruction well and is happy working
■I'm curious if applications are
always being accepted.
Applications are always being accepted
■Is 43 considered too old...
A driving interest in arts management supersedes age.
■What time of year would a person
be expected to come out?
This is decided on a case-by-case basis. The internship is for
a two-month period.
■How fluent does a person need to
You must know how to structure a Japanese sentence, how to
thank people, how to communicate basic needs. If in doubt, contact
Megan to discuss your level. She knew no Japanese when she first
arrived at Shidara, so well understands the situation and
■Why do I need to know Japanese?
Life here runs in an established, fast pace. There is not
always time to stop and explain. Interns need to be flexible and
use judgment about when and how to engage in the office. Besides
Megan and Ms. Nishitani, Shidara members do not speak English and
they need to have basic interaction with you. The better your
Japanese is, the better the internship will work for you. If you
have basic understanding of Japanese and are ready to jump in and
swim with us, we are happy to have you.
■What skills are most important
for this internship?
Experience in tour, concert or event production
Japanese language ability
■How much drumming will I get to
This is an arts business and production internship with
occasional drumming lessons and staffing of our performances.
Interns are drenched in taiko by virtue of living here, and will
have special time to join in on lessons with apprentices. However,
the crux of this internship is tour production and management of a
professional Japanese arts group.
SHIDARA Internship Application