Kyoto Samurai School: Learn Traditional Kembu

Classes & Workshops in Japan
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Tour description

Learn about the etiquette of samurai classes in feudal Japan and practice some basic Kembu, including how to use the Japanese sword. You can choose a 1-hour session for an introduction to the basics, or upgrade for a 1hour30 session to learn choreographed movements with a sword and folding fan. Top off your experience of this traditional Japanese art with a photo session in costume, and take home a certificate of achievement.

Make your way to the Samurai Kembu Kyoto dojo, conveniently located in downtown Kyoto, where you’ll meet your instructor for a 1-hour or 1hour30 lesson in the traditional art of Kembu. Start by watching a three-minute film that introduces you to the general concepts of the samurai, a warrior class that ruled Japan from the 12th to 19th century. After further orientation from your instructor, you’ll put on Japanese-style socks, tie a white belt and receive a sword to be used during your lesson. After you learn to bow, you’re shown how to draw the curved samurai sword and replace it in the scabbard. Once you’ve mastered this difficult technique, practice ways to strike the sword to make a cutting sound. Take a break from your samurai training to change into a costume of your choice and enjoy a photo session. Then continue wielding your sword as a samurai would against his opponent during more practice. If you selected the 1-hour lesson, take a bow to end your session. Before departing the dojo, you will receive a certificate of completion and photos that were taken on-site. Optional Upgrade: 1hour30 Lesson If you booked a 1hour30 lesson, continue to learn stylized movements of the samurai, including how to walk and how to use the folding fan if you wish. Complete your session with some challenging Kembu choreography, which you will perform with your sword on stage, accompanied by a poem and music.

What's included

  • English-speaking local guide/instructor
  • Photo shoot
  • Tenugui towel (Japanese traditional towel)
  • Lesson completion certificate

What's not included

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities