Yoko Hiraoka

University Level Programs

Illustrated performance/lectures

"Biwa and the Tale of Heike"
"Japanese Tales of the Supernatural"
"The Tale of Genji"
"Samurai Legends-Warrior ethics, romance and tragedy".
"Women's Stories-Female Virtue in Medeival Japan"

Training Program For K-12 Schoolteachers

"Teaching Japan"-A workshop and resource for elementary, middle and high school teachers to support teaching about Japan and Japanese culture to school children of all ages.

Outreach Workshop Programs for K-12 Schoolchildren

Each workshop is approximately 45 minutes long and for one class size.

“Open Eyes, Open Ears, Open Minds” Workshop Series:
The Art of Calligraphy

Yoko is a certified master of Japanese Tea Ceremony, and she was trained in the art of brush calligraphy as part of Tea Ceremony discipline.

In this workshop, students will learn how to write simple Chinese characters using a brush. Depending on specific requirement, students also will explore English writing using the brush from single words to Haiku poems.

“Open Eyes, Open Ears, Open Minds” Workshop Series:
The Art of Zen Flower Arrangement

Yoko has been deeply trained in the art of flower arrangement for Japanese tearooms for many decades. This style of flower arrangement, using only minimum number of stems, is very simple yet impressively beautiful and sophisticated. Students will be taught in this workshop how they can find simple beauty in ordinary field flowers and how they can bring their beauty into a living space.

“Open Eyes, Open Ears, Open Minds” Workshop Series:
Folk Songs and Dances from Japan

Students first learn to sing a folk song accompanied by Yoko’s shamisen playing. Then, they will learn the dance choreographed to the music. This workshop provides a good amount of physical exercise, while inspiring students to explore the cultural dimensions new to them.

“Open Eyes, Open Ears, Open Minds” Workshop Series:
The Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

This workshop is most effective when it is combined with the presentation of Tea Ceremony that Yoko offers. Students will learn how to prepare an actual bowl of matcha tea in the traditional way within an atmosphere created on four principles of Tea Ceremony tradition: “Harmony, Respect, Purity, Tranquility.”

Outreach Performance programs for K-12 schoolchildren

Samurai Warriors and Super-Natural Stories — The Art of Japanese Traditional Musical Storytelling

Yoko has been performing the art of Japanese traditional musical storytelling on the instrument called the Biwa in many prominent universities and museums throughout the U.S. She presents the thrilling stories of super-naturals and exiting world of Samurai warriors sung to the accompaniment of this ancient musical instrument. The stories are taken from Japan’s medieval literary works, and PowerPoint slides are used to enhance the visual impact.

The Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Tea Ceremony is one of the oldest cultural arts of Japan, a beautiful ritual of tea making and drinking. Ms. Hiraoka studied the art of Japanese Tea Ceremony from age 14, and is a certified teacher of the art in the Omote Senke lineage. She also has been presenting the art of Japanese Tea Ceremony for cultural events in various cities throughout the U.S. Participating in the Tea Ceremony encourages students to develop an appreciation for four principles of the Way of Tea: “Harmony, Respect, Purity, Tranquility.”

A Musical Journey to Japan

Yoko performs on the koto and sings some of the most beautiful melodies of Japan. She brings enthusiasm and expertise to this charming musical presentation that introduces students to many aspects of Japanese culture. Accompanying PowerPoint slides present classical poems, images and stories behind each piece thus providing a delightful visual journey to Japan. 


Concert Performances
Biwa Recital & Lecture
Contemporary Music Performance Calendar
Teaching & Skype lessons
Outreach Programs
Photo Gallery
Music samples & CD
String Instruments of Japan
Japanese Traditional Music