Kembu (sword performance), one of many Japanese traditional arts, demonstrates the culture of the samurai, a warrior class that ruled Japan for 700 years. Kembu masters who work to keep the spirit of samurai culture alive perform this 1-hour stage show at Samurai Kembu Theater. Satisfy your intellectual curiosity with in-depth talks, and enjoy both traditional and new-style Kembu performances based on historical tales from the feudal period. Afterward, hold a samurai sword in a photo session with the performers.
Make your way to Samurai Kembu Theater, conveniently located in downtown Kyoto. After removing your shoes and taking your seat, you’re introduced to the Japanese traditional art of Kembu through informative narration on stage. Before each demonstration, you’ll learn about the culture of the samurai, a warrior class that ruled Japan from the 12th to 19th century. In feudal times, samurai were said to perform Kembu to give themselves courage or to achieve mental concentration. During traditional and new-style Kembu performances, watch trained masters wield swords and recite short Japanese poems written by samurai before going to battle. Discover the art of folding a fan as a show of respect in Japanese culture, and gain a better understanding of the ceremony of seppuku (ritual suicide), also called hara-kiri. After the show, you can hold a sword while taking a photo with the performers.