Shiro Oni Studio introduces artists to Japanese rural culture, building personal relationships that benefit both artists and area locals. Workshops of interest are voted on as a group at the start of the residency period. All workshop fees cover material costs and go directly to the instructor.


Fuyuko Kobori of the Kobori Enshu school of tea explains the history of tea culture in Japan and the change of the Japanese aesthetic senses, including explanation of Wabi-sabi, and performs a whole tea ceremony.

Fuyuko’s father is the 16th generation head of the school, and Fuyuko is the next in line to run the school.
She has been studying tea ceremony since the age of 6 and has organized traditional and contemporary-style tea ceremonies across Japan, the USA, France, Germany, Holland and Jordan.
Fuyuko’s Family Website
Fuyuko’s Personal Website


The town of Onishi holds a summer music festival every July. The Festival is one of the most exciting times of year, with former residents coming from around the country to participate. While not required, artists  are encouraged to participate in the nightly taiko drum practices at the local community center and to help pull the shrine during the festival.

Youtube video of Onishi Summer Music Festival

Onishi Summer Music Festival


Artists can work on on their brush handling and learn to make sumi ink while studying traditional calligraphy or shodo.


Local craftspeople and farmers often volunteer their time to teach the visiting artists.  Japanese rope-making or Shimenawa decorates Shinto shrines and also used in traditional craft like straw tabi shoes.


Indigo (aizome) dyeing workshop at the Takasaki Dye Botanical garden.
Depending on the time of year the botanical garden offers traditional indigo, seasonal plant or fresh-cut indigo (namabazome) dyeing workshops.


Washi paper making workshop at Tsuguo Yanai’s studio.
Mr. Yanai has more than 30 years experience creating washi paper art.  He’s mastered traditional paper-making techniques and also developed his own sculptural techniques.

Visit Mr. Yanai’s website for more information about his studio


Friends of the residency often to stop by the house to cook a meal with the visiting artists.  Workshops can be a formally organized as a lesson with translation or as simple as a BBQ at night.


Artists can schedule a Zen Buddhism workshop Kongoji Temple.  The resident monk, Mr. Iwao and his son volunteer an afternoon of their time to give an introductory course to zen buddhism, followed by a question and answer period and a tour of their beautiful garden.


Shiro Oni Studio can introduce artists working in clay to local ceramic artists.  In the past we’ve organized studio visits, hand-building, and wheel-throwing workshops.


Traditional Japanese painting or Nihonga is a painting technique dating back to the 8th century using egg white and ground minerals.  Colors are not mixed as in western pigmented paints, but applied in layers. The labor-intensive process creates images with a unique warmth.