Every year, around millions of people from all over the world visit Japan to explore the country and its rich and fascinating culture, a number that is ever increasing.
In various locations around the metropolis, Japan organises accessible short programs that offer foreign visitors and others the opportunity to gain authentic first-hand experience of traditional culture and performing arts, and programs that provide a deeper understanding by combining hands-on experience with the viewing of performances.
Here is a compilation of the top traditional cultural experiences for foreign visitors to get to know Japan first-hand: from the Traditional Japanese Dance Workshop to Kabuki
1. Engei (Japanese traditional entertainment)
Traditional Japanese entertainment consists Wazuma (traditional magic), Kyokugei (traditional acrobatics) and Paper cutting
Wazuma is traditional magic that has been handed down from 400 years ago. This magic was extremely popular among the masses in the Edo period.An instructor will explain the brief history of wazuma while providing you the opportunity to try it out.
Kyokugei is a traditional Japanese acrobatics. You can see the kasamawashi performance which means rotating an umbrella with some objects, as well as gokai-jawan, using a long rod to support some objects on top of the rod. In Japan, the kasamawashi is particularly popular and also believed to be very auspicious. You can try performances such as kasamawashi and kamitate (a part of gokai-jawan).
• Paper cutting
Traditional Japanese paper cutting is an improvised art which a performer creates only by a sheet of paper and scissors, according to audience’s requests. In this program, you will cut the paper based on some themes. Also, you can take the paper cutout home after you finish it.
Traditional Japanese Dance Workshop
Nihon Buyo is a type of traditional Japanese dance that has a history of nearly 400 years. It is characterized by uniquely Japanese qualities of elegance and grace. Why don’t you try on a yukata and our workshop? In addition, we hope you will enjoy “Fujimusume,” which is the authentic and well-known Japanese dance.
2. Kabuki Workshop
Kabuki is one of Japan’s representative traditional art of entertainment, integrating elements of music, dance, and acting. It is said to have been created in Kyoto around 1600. Since then, it has continued to pass down its traditions while incorporating modernity, continuing to exist as a form of the theater which has fascinated people for more than 400 years. In 2005, it was registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
3. Shamisen of Nagauta Workshop
Nagauta which originated as the kabuki music and developed as shamisen (three string instrument) music is a type of traditional Japanese music played on shamisen. You can try shamisen and professional Nagauta players will give a powerful performance and explain Nagauta in a way that makes it easy even for first-timers to understand.