Journey back in time more than 700 years, to Japan’s feudal period, as you enjoy Kembu, a sword performance associated with the country’s samurai warriors. This fascinating show combines the grace, beauty and power of samurai sword practice with a chance to learn about the culture of historic Japan.
Begin your performance at Kyoto’s Samurai Kembu Theater, your arrival coinciding with your selected show time. Before starting the show, take off your shoes (in traditional Japanese style) and find your seat. Your show begins with narration from a performer, who provides an informative introduction to the history and techniques of the traditional art of Kembu.
The show then continues with a series of Kembu demonstrations. Before each demo, you’ll hear a short history lesson about samurai culture, detailing the practices of this enigmatic warrior class that dominated ancient Japan between the 12th and 19th centuries. It’s said that Kembu evolved as a discipline to help samurai boost their courage and focus their minds for the rigors of battle.
During the performance you’ll have the chance to admire both traditional and new-style Kembu rituals, each of which involves a performer who will brandish their sword in a series of intricate movements while reciting samurai poems used before heading to the battlefield. You’ll also learn the art of the Japanese folding fan and discover the meaning behind the ceremony of seppuku (ritual suicide), which is also called hara-kiri.
Finish your immersion into samurai culture with a photo session, where you can hold a sword and take a few candid shots with the performers.