Kodo Apprenticeship Programme 2024–2026

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.

On completion of the programme, apprentices may be selected to become probationary junior members of Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble. Junior members spend a further year training on the job and can become fully-fledged Kodo members if they pass the final stage of selection.

Time Period

  • 1st Year: April 2024–January 2025 (10 months)
  • 2nd Year: February 2025–January 2026 (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), instruction by Kodo performers, instruction by guest instructors (including body basics, voice training, singing).
*Practicum (such as work experience as staff for taiko workshops & Kodo performances on Sado Island)
*Physical fitness training (running, stretching, core training, etc.)
*Tea ceremony, Noh theater, farming (rice, fruit, & vegetable cultivation), crafts (such as pottery), cooking, observation of Sado’s local festivals, lectures (about Sado’s performing arts, etc.).

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 practicum on Sado Island such as performing on stage with Kodo at the “Kodo Sado Island Performances in Shukunegi,” visiting junior high schools to give “School Workshop Performances,” and performing at local events.


  • Daily training is based around instruction by current Kodo performers and self-led practice sessions planned by the apprentices themselves.
  • 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 winter vacation at the end of December over New Year’s.
  • 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 2024)

  • Apprenticeship fees are made up of an entrance fee, a facilities & materials fee, living expenses, and education expenses.
    – Entrance fee: Required on entrance only.
    – Facilities & materials fee: Payable twice, on entrance and on advancement to 2nd year. (Fee is 150,000 yen each time, consisting of a facility maintenance fee (50,000 yen), instrument maintenance fee (50,000 yen), and teaching materials fee (50,000 yen).
    – Living expenses: To cover meals and lodging, etc.
  • Apprenticeship fees will be collected in two installments during the year.
  • Apprenticeship fees for the first half of the first year are due at registration, soon after selection (late January).
  • Total payment amounts and itemized costs are listed in the table below:
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 (December or February)
[6 months (Apr. – Sep.)]
730,000 100,000 150,000 180,000 300,000
Payment due after 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 after mid-year review (late September)
[4 months (Oct. – Jan.)]
320,000 120,000 200,000



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