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MCA Studio: Kabuki Masterclass with Sennosuke Wakatsuki


Sennosuke Wakatsuki is modernizing the kabuki form. With percussion master Shijuro Tachibana, he leads a workshop for intermediary- to advanced-level students and professionals in dance and theater. The class foregrounds the core skills related to traditional Japanese art and performance, and is accompanied by Hyakkyou Fukuhara (bamboo flute) and Chizuru Kineya (shamisen).

Immediately preceding the workshop, participants are invited to observe a brief Master Apprentice presentation, with shamisen apprentice Kiku Tarura performing with master artist Tatsu Aoki, and taiko apprentice Helen Nagata performing with master artist Kioto Aoki. Musical accompaniment for the duets is provided by grandmasters Tachibana, Fukuhara, Kineya, and Yoshinojo Fujima. Grandmaster Shunojo Fujima provides traditional dance.


  1. Please be punctual. The class starts promptly at 6 pm with the Master apprentice demonstrations, followed immediately by Kabuki demonstration by Wakatsuki‎.
  2. All participants should plan to participate in gentle dance movement.
  3. Tachibana, master drummer, will invite a few of the participants ‎to play the hand drum.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing and soft shoes.
  5. Bring a folding fan. ‎Only 20 fans will be available to students during the class, while supply lasts.
  6. Simultaneous Japanese translation will be provided for nonspeakers.

About the Artist

Wakatsuki is the eldest son of Sennojô Wakatsuki, and part of a historical lineage of actors trained in traditional Japanese art and dance. He studied traditional Japanese dance from his father from an early age, going on to study the art of Kabuki Theater under renowned Kabuki master, Fujisono Yoshimura. In 2004, Wakatsuki was admitted to study at the Performing Arts Faculty at Nihon University in Japan, where he specialized in Japanese dance as well as theatrical production and management. In 2007, he entered the Japanese National Theater where he studied for three years learning the various skills related to traditional Japanese art and performance as a Kabuki actor's apprentice. In 2010, Wakatsuki began his professional career as a Kabuki actor, and the following year he founded Wa No Kai, an association of four artists dedicated to promoting traditional Japanese Kabuki art as well as dance. Wa No Kai tours both nationally and internationally.