What we do

Get start to learn a traditional instrument for the first time, and complete one piece.

  • Organization : Tenrai
  • Section : None
  • Type of Grant Program : Single


Hands-on experience event
Biwa, Sho

Number of sessions (per person/including presentations, etc.)

Principal instructors
Kazuyuki Shiotaka (Biwa), Kanisasare Ayako (Ayako Kawakami/Sho)

Event features
We will create an easy-to-understand, simulated practice-based manual for those new to Biwa and Sho (Gagaku ancient court music).
The manual will include Western musical score to make it easier for participants to familiarize themselves with Japanese classical music using musical score learnt at school. In addition, by clarifying parts that cannot be written in Western musical score, participants will be able to understand the differences between Western and Japanese music.
Instructors Kazuyuki Shiotaka and Ayako Kawakami engage in various musical collaborations besides traditional music. As well as discussing how to go about these, and what to be aware of, the instructors will teach participants methods for putting collaborations into practice. Participants will also see an actual musical collaboration. Joining as an instructor will be Noboru Yasuda (Noh actor).

A framework enabling participants to continue with hands-on experience (practice) of traditional performing arts
This course will show participants in a specific way how they can continue learning after the course. The course will also introduce participants to various learning opportunities besides studying with the instructors on this course.
At the same time, participants will also be provided with information on where they can find performances of Biwa and Gagaku.
Communicating methods and practices for collaboration will help guide each participant to their own performance activities.
Participants will also have the possibility of appearing in Tenrai-organized events.
In terms of Biwa, we are also considering providing performance opportunities.


Tenrai’s aim is to pursue the possibilities of traditional performing arts, and to create a new stage art using traditional techniques. The group’s activities center around Noh, Kyogen, and katarigei narrative arts such as Rokyoku (story recitation accompanied by shamisen). However, Tenrai also actively engages in projects involving Bunraku puppetry and other genres, creating works based on tradition but not bound by it.


Noboru Yasuda


Sho and Biwa: Asahi Hiroo Mansion Meeting Room, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Sho: BUZZ Shinjuku House Studio, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Biwa: Studio Ongaku-kan Asagaya, Suginami City, Tokyo
Biwa: Okubo Studio M, Shinjuku City, Tokyo