Workshop: Traditional Theater Training 2016, Kyoto

Spring has sprung!

The Kyoto Art Center has at last begun accepting applications for the 32nd annual Traditional Theater Training (T.T.T.), 2016. You can find more information and downloadable application forms at the following links:

T.T.T. is a three-week summer intensive training program that introduces the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, and Nihonbuyō (there is also a short course on offer for kotsuzumi [hourglass-shaped hand drum, played on shoulder]). The program is based on the practice-recital approach, and aims to allow participants from all over the world to learn the skills and spirit of traditional performing arts. 

Fluency in Japanese is not required of participants, though lessons will typically be given in the language (with interpreters on hand). 

Dates of the program: Tuesday 19 July – Saturday 13 August 2016

Paper copies of the application will be available from Kyoto Art Center toward the end of March 2016.

The early bird discount (5000 yen off) will be available until 15 April 2016.

Application Deadline: 30 June 2016

For those applying for funding from your institutions or other organizations, we will be happy to provide letters of invitation as needed. Please contact me if you need something to this effect.

For more information, feel free to respond to me directly, or contact Kyoto Art Center (in Japanese or English) at or +81 (0)75-213-1000. You can also visit the Kyoto Art Center website at or simply stop by the Center, a short walk from Karasuma Shijō Station.

Please see below for answers to a number of frequently asked questions.

I hope to see many of you (and your students) in Kyoto this summer!

Sincerely yours,

Matthew W. Shores, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Japanese Studies
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA (UK)
Tel: 44 (0)1223-335173
Fax: 44 (0)1223-335110  FAMES site
Fellow of Peterhouse

Answers to some frequently asked questions:


T.T.T. invites artists, students, and researchers seeking profound knowledge of Japanese traditional performing arts. Nationality, gender, and age are unimportant. You will be able to fulfill your curiosity about Japanese traditional performing arts by experiencing their rich skills and spirit through intensive, daily practice with masters in Kyoto, the traditional heart of Japan.


Orientation: 19 July 2016 (Tue, time to be confirmed; venue: KAC)
Training: 20 July 2016 (Wed) to 12 August 2016 (Fri; venue: KAC)
Recital: 13 August 2016 (Sat; venue: Ōe Noh Theater)


Noh: Shingo Katayama, Hiromichi Tamoi, Nobuyuki Ōe
Kyogen: Akira Shigeyama, Yasushi Maruishi, Doji Shigeyama
Nihonbuyō: Yayoi Wakayagi

Program Director

Matthew Shores


Requirements: Students, performers, teachers, and Japanologists of all ages, genders, and nationalities

Approximately 24 participants total (8 per class)

Applicants will be notified of the results as applications are received. Applications may not be accepted if capacity is reached prior to deadline.


General 70,000 yen, Students 50,000 yen

* Veterans of previous T.T.T. programs will receive a discount (general tuition reduced to 50,000 yen, student tuition reduced to 40,000 yen)

* A discount for professional artists is also available upon examination (tuition reduced to 50,000yen).


It is the responsibility of participants to arrange their own accommodations. (Kyoto Art Center can provide assistance, if necessary.)

Local business hotels cost around 5000 to 10,000 yen per night, but hostels or guesthouses tend to be about half the price. You should look for these on your own and later ask Kyoto Art Center staff for assistance if you need help making the arrangements. 

Other Costs

Participants will need fans (approx. 4000 yen, depending on art of study) and tabi (split-toed socks, 1000-2000 yen) for daily practice. We will advise you how and where to purchase these if you do not already have them.

Japan can be expensive, but it does not have to be. You can save money by finding accommodations within walking distance of Kyoto Art Center (short rides on trains average 300 yen). Food can be cheap too; Japanese convenience stores are truly convenient, with a terrific selection of healthy food. Last summer in Kyoto, I spent an average of 1500-2000 yen on food/(non-alcoholic) drinks per day. If you’re able to prepare your own food, this would be even less. Please note that we have a couple of T.T.T. parties—most important is the final cast party following the recital—so please try to set aside about 10,000 yen for these. Outside dinners, drinks, events, trips to the theater (noh, kabuki, bunraku, etc.) are optional and can vary in price. There are all kinds of FREE things to do while in Kyoto of course, such as walking around town, window-shopping, and visiting parks and temple grounds. 

Staying in Kyoto for a few days after the program?

If you will be in Kyoto after T.T.T. ends, you might want to consider participating in Pendulum II, an intensive three-day course in Japanese music, from 16 to 18 August. The tuition is 5000 yen. Inquiries can be made by emailing the course convenor, Alison Tokita at

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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