Project Ikigai


Finding Purpose through Music • Finding Purpose in Music

Project Ikigai is a program of workshops and performances created by Yeeman “ManMan” Mui and Amy Naylor that aims to inspire individuals, groups and communities to discover, explore and embrace their “ikigai”.

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The Japanese term Ikigai refers to your passion, your core values, your life purpose. It is often translated as “the reason you wake up in the morning”.

Through Project Ikigai, Amy and ManMan share their experiences and their journey to find ikigai through music. Using a range of instruments, songs and styles from all over the world, they explore identity and purpose with a view to helping others do the same.

Purpose • Voice • Motivation • Energy • Connection

What we offer


In our workshops we aim to facilitate creativity, rather than prescribing or teaching one method or approach to music-making. Through a range of games and activities we will create an inclusive space for exploring musicality and building connection with others and ourselves.

Example activities:

  • Mindful Singing – work with the breath, check in with the body, explore vocal exercises, sing together for joy and connection
  • Body Percussion – internalise rhythm, move with music, explore the space
  • Creative Games – improvise, create, compose, share your voice, play together

In these workshops we use our bodies as our instruments, incorporating taiko and/or handpan (if the space and equipment is available), in any setting, for any age, and any ability.

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Our performance celebrates the diversity and power of music using unique instrumentation and adapting songs from our journey across the globe. Our vision is to share our values through music, to tell the story of how we came to find our ikigai. We explore themes of identity, impermanence, nature, and hope to share experiences with which the listener can relate. Suited for intimate settings, we aim to blur the lines between audience and performer to create a space for connection, and make music together.

Meet ManMan & Amy

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Yeeman “ManMan” Mui (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, HongKonger, multidisciplinary taiko artist, and facilitator based in Los Angeles, who strives to build an equitable landscape for the purpose of fostering creativity. As a neurodivergent, ManMan grew up unable to speak outside of immediate family due to an anxiety condition known as Selective Mutism. Through the discovery of multisensory artistic expressions, ManMan continues to find liberation through fluidity in movement and is propelled by the resonance of vocals and drums. 

ManMan’s program, Taiko Together, became a catalyst for student-centric facilitation where non-verbal communication is at the core. This opens up space to listen into silence, connect with one’s body, and celebrate innate musicality, which is a strategy used to uplift marginalized voices. ManMan works with communities that confront various social injustices. This includes Grand Vision Foundation, Older and Bolder, San Jose Taiko, Portland Taiko, Foyle Obon, Humber Taiko, Orff4kids, Raging Asian Women, Rhythmic Flow Taiko, O • Daiko Hong Kong, and Taiko Community Alliance. ManMan received an MPhil in Musicology from the University of Hong Kong.

Amy Naylor is using music to spread positivity, compassion and joy. As a songwriter, taiko player and handpan artist, her songs and music explore issues related to identity, politics, the environment and social relationships.

Her passion for music began at an early age, singing and banging drums around campfires. As she grew to find her own voice and vision, she fell in love with the handpan. It’s ability to calm the body through soothing sounds, and inspire connection and community was everything Amy had been searching for. 

Certified music educator through Trinity College London, she teaches with Humber Taiko and performs with taiko trio Coritani, as well as facilitating mindfulness/meditation sessions, songwriting workshops, and therapeutic music sessions in a variety of contexts. She also works with children and adults with special education needs, in culturally and financially deprived areas, and aims to empower, inspire and encourage growth and connection with music as a guiding force.

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Yeeman "ManMan" Mui