Having a samurai experience is one of the most unforgettable memories you can have in Japan. As a military person, it is quite indispensable for a samurai to master the art of martial arts and military tactics. In order for you to have a full-scale samurai experience with lesson and demonstration, you can give it a shot at the Samurai Kembu Theater in Kyoto.
Samurai Kembu is a traditional swordplay and performing arts which uses a Japanese sword and a fan in depicting the culture of the samurai. It comes from the word “kembu” meaning “sword dance.” It is said that the samurai danced in the old times in order to uplift themselves and become braver. The theater is considered to be a training gym (dojo) for the sword dance where performers dance to a background song and music. The start of samurai kembu is told in a story occurring after the Meiji reconstruction period where the government abolished many of the samurai’s privileges. It became an entertaining show participated by many sword players which paved the way to the Samurai Kembu Theater.
The show approximately takes an hour which is performed by kembu masters. You may opt to take a full lesson with a show or a light lesson with a show. The full lesson takes about 2 hours while the light lesson takes an hour. The lesson provides information on the etiquette of different samurai classes which is an important part of Japanese history. It also includes basic kembu techniques as well as the use of the traditional Japanese sword and the folding fan. Lessons occur from Mondays to Saturdays with morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. You may take the lesson with or without a costume. If you don’t feel like joining the practice, you may just observe the lesson by entering the dojo and taking pictures of the participants who belong to your group.
Samurai Kembu Theater allows the expression of different feelings such as bravery against an enemy or airing out feelings of sadness or leaving a hometown. This is a great place for you to observe or participate in a sword dance. If you’re interested, you may book your lessons through their website.