Kyogen (Traditional Comedy)

Create a New Piece and Find What is Behind Laughter and Splendor

Not only watching, but also creating works together
¥110,000 ~

This workshop is held at a private temple or other location where you can experience Japanese culture. After learning the basics of Kyogen and how to enjoy it, you will actually experience a part of the performance by making their own body.

You and the Kyoden actor will also create a new Kyogen piece based on a story provided by you beforehand or on the spot

And you can also perform in the new piece by yourselves, making use of the acting skills you have learned.

Laughter that Japanese people have enjoyed for 650 years

Kyogen is a traditional Japanese performing art created in the Muromachi period (1333-1573). Together with Noh, it is registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Japan by UNESCO. Although the term "traditional performing arts" may sound formal, Kyogen is a cheerful comedy that expresses the common laughter of everyday life with rich facial expressions and gestures, beautiful vocal tones, and simple dialogue, and has been enjoyed by many people for over 650 years.

Kyogen, which also has its roots in Kabuki, uses almost no stage props, and various scenes are created using only a few small props, such as fans, and the actors' performances. The colorful and gorgeous costumes worn by the actors, coupled with their unique delivery of lines, invite the audience to enter a unique view of world.

Learn the classics and carry them on to the modern world

The Kyogen actor you will meet in this experience is Kawata Zenkyu, who has been working to master traditional Kyogen for about 20 years, in the meantime promoting the art of Kyogen. While most Kyogen performers perform the many pieces of Kyogen that have been passed on from 650 years ago, Kawata also creates and performs new pieces of Kyogen himself. Kawata also produces Kyogen plays that are more relevant to today's audience, such as "Kyogen for businesspeople" and "Kyogen for marriage activity”. In this way he has created a new gateway to Kyogen for people who have never been exposed to traditional performing arts.

While making maximum use of classical elements such as dialogue, movement, and standard storyline, Kawata tries to express the laughter that exists in the daily lives of modern Japanese people.

Kawata continues his efforts to carry on with his beloved Kyogen culture to the future.

He says

"Kyogen is a traditional art form that has been carried on in Japan for 650 years,and I hope that people will continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

It is important to preserve the old form of Kyogen, but at the same time, I am seeking for a form of Kyogen that is relevant to the present day.

I look forward to creating a new world of laughter with people around the world."

Kyogen Actor
Zenkyu Kawata
In 1999, Kawata met Kyogen in Kyoto university, and ever since he has been working to master traditional Kyogen for 20 years, in the meantime, he has been also holding hands-on lessons and workshop to promote Kyogen. In 2015, he began producing the "Businesspeople Kyogen" series, which was inspired by the launch of the Kyogen Division of the Kyogen Department of the Kyuto School of Tea Ceremony. He also focuses on activities to expand the possibilities of Kyogen by producing Kyogen pieces on today’s topics.

Workshop Courses