2017–2018 Apprenticeship Programme

Apprentices live communally at the Kodo Apprentice Centre (a former school building) and learn taiko, dance, song, bamboo flute, and other traditional arts in the rich natural and cultural surroundings of Sado Island.

From 2014, the “Kodo Apprentice Centre” course will focus on developing Kodo performers.

The Kodo Apprentice Centre seeks apprentices from near and far to study in the rich natural and cultural surroundings of Sado Island, where they learn “new traditions” through hands-on experiences to pass on to the next generation. The two-year programme teaches a general curriculum in the first year about the basics of traditional Japanese culture, and in the second year the course is a specialized curriculum that develops practical skills by taking part in Kodo’s various activities.

On completion of the programme, apprentices hoping to become Kodo members may be selected to become probationary members. Probationary members spend a further year training on the job and can become full-fledged Kodo members if they pass the final stage of selection.

Time Period

  • 1st Year: April 2017–January 2018 (10 months)
  • 2nd Year: February 2018–January 2019 (12 months)

Apprenticeship Details

1st Year: 10-Month Programme

Immersed in a communal lifestyle, you will learn from nature while developing the basic physique and character required of a Kodo member through studies of taiko, dance, singing, etc.

Curriculum includes:
Performing arts (taiko, dance, singing, flute, etc), farming (rice, fruit & vegetable cultivation), cooking, running, tea ceremony, Noh, lectures (Sado’s nature, culture, history, etc), observation of Sado’s local festivals, crafts (pottery, etc), on-site training (staffing taiko workshops, Kodo performances on Sado Island, etc), rehearsals with Kodo performers… and more.

2nd Year: 12-Month Programme

In addition to the continuation of first-year studies, you will be challenged to develop the practical skills required of a Kodo performer.

The second year programme includes appearing on stage in the “Kodo Sado Island Performances in Shukunegi” and giving “School Workshop Performances” on Sado Island.


  • There will be a review of the first apprenticeship year to determine which individuals will be invited to advance to the second year.
  • Apprentices usually have one day off a week and a week-long winter vacation at the end of December.
  • Drinking alcohol and smoking are prohibited during the apprenticeship.
  • Mobile phones and internet capable devices of any kind are prohibited during the apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices can not undertake part-time work during the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Fees (For Apprentices Commencing in April 2017)

  • Apprenticeship fees will be collected in two installments during the year. The fees include living expenses, which cover meals and accommodations, etc.
  • An entrance fee is required at the beginning of the first year and a facilities & materials fee is required at the beginning of each course year. The facilities & materials fee consists of a 50,000-yen facility maintenance fee, 50,000-yen instrument maintenance fee, and a 30,000-yen teaching materials fee in the first year, then a 70,000-yen facility maintenance fee, 50,000 yen instrument maintenance fee, and a 30,000-yen teaching materials fee in the second year.
  • Apprenticeship fees for the first half of the first year are due at registration, soon after selection (late January).
Payments Itemized Costs
Entrance Fee Facilities & Materials Fee Living Expenses Education Expenses
1st Year (10 months): Annual Amount 1,050,000 100,000 150,000 300,000 500,000
Payment Due at Registration (late January)
[6 months (Apr. – Sep.)]
730,000 100,000 150,000 180,000 300,000
Payment Due at Mid-Year Review (late September)
[4 months (Oct. – Jan.)]
320,000 120,000 200,000
2nd Year (12 months): Annual Amount 1,110,000 150,000 360,000 600,000
Payment Due on Advancement to 2nd Year (late January)
[8 months (Feb. – Sep.)]
790,000 150,000 240,000 400,000
Payment Due at Mid-Year Review (late September)
[4 months (Oct. – Jan.)]
320,000 120,000 200,000