Captured at newsgroup

From: gsmas@utxdp.dp. (Mary Ann Sullivan)

Subject: Japanese Dance

I am interested in studying traditional dance in Japan and would greatly appreciate any information anyone can give me regarding his/her own experiences. Thanks in advance,

Mary Ann

From: jqw3827@is2.nyu.

edu (Jean W. Williams)

Subject: Re: Japanese Dance

What type of dance are you interested in? How much Japanese do you understand? How much money can you afford to spend? I’ve studied nihon buyo and jiuta mai for 51/2 years in Japan and noh for a brief 6 months. Basically, it’s the most expensive hobby you can ever imagine. Aside from lessons, which cost between $150-300/month depending on the level/prestige of the teacher and school (for private lessons), there is the cost of the “equipment” (clothing, fans, etc–which even used aren’t cheap) and the unspoken cost of feeling obliged to buy tickets to your teacher’s performances and to contribute go-shugi (gift money).

Of course, there are group lessons at culture centers, where the per month cost is cheaper, but where you will be expected to pay for 3 months in advance and to pay a joining fee. And the culture center offers no escape from the “obligation” part. Even culture centers have happiokai (recitals) these days.

The cost for appearing in a student recital (which, depending on the school, you may be expected to do at some point) range from $900 upwards towards $5,000. Yep, you read it right. Seems like a relative bargain compared to that $300,000 wedding a soc.culture.japan poster reported, doesn’t it?

I certainly don’t want to discourage you, but I think you have to be very realistic about studying in Japan–think time (years) and money (thousands and thousands of dollars).

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