IASIL 2024 Tokyo


The 2024 Conference of
the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures

5-9 August 2024, Gakushuin University

Cultural Events

Wednesday Afternoon Cultural Events (7th Aug, 15:30-; Kyogen / Calligraphy)

Option 1: Kyogen Workshop

Kaoru Matsumoto, Kyogen Actor of Okura School, who belongs to the renowned Shigeyama Sengoro Troupe in Kyoto, will give a workshop of kyogen. Kyogen is a traditional Japanese comedy which was established about 400 years ago together with more serious and tragic Noh plays. Kyogen and Noh are performed together in a program and kyogen releases the tension brought about by Noh and lets the audience relaxed. Matsumoto will explain what kyogen is and the participants, using their own bodies, will experience movements and vocalization of kyogen, such as the idiosyncratic way of laughing. Participants will also learn how to use props like a special fan which is only used in kyogen.  This workshop will provide the essence and the integrate image of kyogen.

In addition, participants have an opportunity to take a close look at Noh masks created by Teiichi Iba, Noh mask artist.

  • – The workshop is open to 70 people on first-come-first-served basis.
  • – Time and Date: 15:30-, Wednesday 7 August
  • – Venue: The 12th-floor Lounge, Central Education and Research Building, Gakushuin University
  • – Price: 3,000 yen per person

More about Shigeyama Sengoro Family (Japanese language only), and Noh masks made by Teiich Iba.

Option 2: Japanese Calligraphy Experience (書道shodō)

The participants are invited to Akitsu-kai’s
  calligraphy class to observe and experience the lesson themselves.
Lesson includes writing one kanji character on ‘Shikishi’ (a special kind of Japanese card paper often used for calligraphy).  Before or after your own calligraphy experience, you can observe the regular class and view some of the work by students and teachers. There will be two trips to Akitsu-kai, one at 15:30 and the other at 17:00, and each lesson experience is open to the first 10-12 people who enroll.


  • – Time and Date:  Wednesday 7 August
             The first group at 15:30 and the second group at 17:00.
             Each group accommodates 10-12 people.
  • – Venue: Akitsu-kai*, an 8-minute walk from Gakushuin University
  • – Free of charge



Akitsu-kai was founded in 1970 by Kōsei Nakata (Kan’ichi Nakata). He had been an instructor of calligraphy at the Gakushuin Girl’s Junior & Senior High School since the early Showa period, and from 1931 (Showa 6) to 1944 (Showa 19), he was appointed as an instructor of calligraphy for the female staff of the Empress’s Palace in the Imperial Household Ministry.

Akitsu-kai is named after the ‘Akitsu-shima’ (蜻蛉島; island of Akitsu), which appears in The Man’yōshū (万葉集; literally ‘Anthology of Ten Thousand Leaves’). ‘Akitsu’ means ‘dragonfly’ and, in earlier times, Japan was known as Akitsu-shima.