Chiba: School brings Kyoto experience to students in lieu of cancelled trip

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Students watch a maiko apprentice geisha perform at Matsudo City Daiichi Junior High School in Chiba Prefecture.

MATSUDO, Chiba — After their school trip to Kyoto was canceled due to the novel coronavirus, Matsudo City Daiichi Junior High School in Chiba Prefecture provided students with an alternative experience on Oct. 19 that brought the charms of the ancient capital to them instead.

The school invited maiko apprentice geisha, kyogen traditional comic drama actors and others from Kyoto, allowing many of the students to experience Kyoto culture for the first time. The substitute trip was well received by the students, with one of them saying, “This is one more important memory I will have of junior high school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

One of the most popular performers was a maiko from Kyoto’s Gion district named Katsumomo. She performed “Gion Kouta” and other songs and charmed the students with her graceful dance. Katsumomo said: “This is my first time visiting a school. I’m glad that the students could feel Kyoto.”

A student who was taught how to paint a yunomi teacup by a Kiyomizu-yaki pottery craftsman said happily, “I’ll always treasure this teacup.”