• Finished

Hokusai Music Expo
Calling for Elementary School Student Participants

  • Japanese Traditional Art ,
  • Music ,
  • Kids / Youth ,
  • Art Project ,
  • Workshop

Let’s experience beautiful-sounding music from around the world, and present it to everyone!

Founded on respect for the world-famous Katsushika Hokusai, the Hokusai Music Expo is a music program in which children from areas surrounding Sumida-ku (Hokusai’s birthplace) get to experience beautiful sounding instruments from around the world, learn about their history and take part in rehearsals that culminate in a performance.

This program is intended to provide children with a diverse experience through the medium of music. With a top-class musician as their teacher, the participating children will develop a musical performance as a team. Application for this year opens from Sunday, October 1. We look forward to your participation.

Program A: Steelpan

Have a go at playing glittering steelpan drums!
The steelpan is a musical instrument made of a steel drum container, originating on the other side of the globe in the small Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Each village on the islands has its own team, with everyone from small children to the elderly playing at rehearsal spaces known as pan yards. Feel the breeze and fragrance of the distant Caribbean Sea in the sparkling sounds of steelpan! The program will be taught by Japan’s leading steelpan performer, Yoshihiro Harada. Members of the Panorama Steel Orchestra led by Harada will also be coming along.

15 each from lower and upper grades

Practice schedule
Time (each day) Lower grades: 9.30 — 10.30 / Upper grades 11:00 — 12:00 (total of six sessions)
1. Sunday, December 10 2017
2. Friday, January 5 2018
3. Saturday, January 13 2018
4. Sunday, January 28 2018
5. Sunday, February 4 2018
6. Sunday, February 11 2018

Practice venue
1 — 3: Practice rooms, Sumida Triphony Hall (1-2-3 Kinshi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
4 — 6: Topping East (1F, 2-10-7 Honjo, Sumida-ku)

Yoshihiro Harada

Program B: Gidayu

Shout out traditional gidayu music from the Edo period!
More than 300 years old, the traditional Japanese performance art of gidayu is known as the music of bunraku puppetry and kabuki. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of projecting your voice from the belly; adding narration to a melody and reciting with the shamisen. Even shy children will enjoy it. Under the enjoyable instruction of joryu gidayu (“women’s gidayu”) performers Kyonosuke Takemoto and Yaya Tsuruzawa, children will learn the pleasure of natural voice projection. For the end performance, the children will take to the stage in costumes unique to gidayu.

10 continuing (intended for last-year’s participants/applications closed) / 5 new

Practice schedule
Time (each day)13:30 — 15:30 (total of 6 sessions)
1. Sunday, December 3 2017
2. Sunday, December 17 2017
3. Sunday, January 7 2018
4. Sunday, January 14 2018
5. Sunday, February 4 2018
6. Monday, February 12 2018 (observed holiday)

Practice venue
Topping East (2-10-7 Honjo, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)

Kyonosuke Takemoto(dayu)
Yaya Tsuruzawa(gidayu shamisen)

Program C: Gamelan

Try your hand at gamelan, the fascinating whirl of sound from Indonesia!
Gamelan music originated in the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia, made up of more than 13,000 islands. The strange and enchanting music and dance of gamelan is loved by people all over the world. Musical instruments of many kinds and dance for both men and women come together to create a single narrative. Experience real gamelan firsthand with an genuine instructor from Indonesia.

On gamelan instruments: 25 / Dancers: 15

Practice schedule
Time (each day) 10:00 — 12:30 (total of 6 sessions)
1. Sunday, January 7 2018
2. Sunday, January 14 2018
3. Sunday, January 21 2018
4. Sunday, January 28 2018
5. Sunday, February 4 2018
6. Sunday, February 11 2018

Practice venue
Sakura Bashi Community Center (2-3-8 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)

Makoto Torii (gamelan)
Nyoman Sudarsana (dance)


Practice schedule
Sunday, December 3 2017 – Monday, February 11 2018
*For the detailed practice schedule, please refer to each program information above.
Practice venue
Topping East, Practice rooms at Sumida Triphony Hall, Sakura Bashi Community Center
Elementary school student (advance registration required)
Participation fee
5,000 yen (including the cost of costumes and costume rental on the performance day)
*Please provide your own tabi (special split-toe socks) for Program B
Sunday, February 18 2018
Performance venue
Ekoin (2-8-10 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
and others
Application guideline
Please use the Hokusai Music Expo 2017 form for elementary school student participants on the official website.
Application period
Sunday, October 1 — Sunday October 22 2017
*In the case of oversubscription, participants will be decided by lottery. Applicants will be notified of results by e-mail.
(Announcement of lottery results: steelpan and gidayu on Monday, October 30 / gamelan on Tuesday, October 31)
[Second recruitment]
First come, first served basis. The application will be closed when the number of participants reaches the limit.


  • Performances for all programs will be on Sunday, February 18 2018.
  • Performance details will be announced at a later date.
  • Applicants may take part in one program per person.
  • Participants should be able to attend all rehearsal and performance days.
  • Participants should be able to cooperate in publicity activities related to the project (press coverage/photography/filming for news reports, documentation and publicity; the publication/broadcast of limited personal information and photos/video footage in media outlets recognized by project organizers)
  • Please pay the participation fee by bank transfer by the date specified in the e-mail from organizers about lottery results.
  • Refunds will not be made to participants who stop attending the program.
  • Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential, and used only to send you information from Topping East about this event.
  • Program contents are subject to change.

Hokusai Music Expo Call for Elementary School Student Participants / Briefing

There will be a briefing for children considering participating in this year’s program for elementary school students, and their parents/guardians. Please feel free to come along.

Date / Time
Saturday, September 30 2017, 14:00-15:00, 15:30-16:30 (2 sessions)
*The content of each session is the same.
Topping East (1F, 2-10-7 Honjo, Sumida-ku)
Admission free, no advance registration required


Topping East office
TEL: 080-9671-7507(11:00-18:00)


Topping East, Practice rooms at Sumida Triphony Hall, Sakura Bashi Community Center



Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo(Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Topping East (NPO)