Unfortunately, we were forced to cancel Kyoto Inspiration in 2020 and 2021, due to Covid precautions.

Report 2019

Kyoto Inspiration 2019 was held from July 1 to 13. As usual, many participants stayed on for Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri festival on July 17th.

For the fourth year of this program, we hosted 23 participants of 14 nationalities — from Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S.A., with backgrounds in Manga/Anime, Library & Information Science, Philosophy/German Studies, Digital Arts & Animation, Theater, Illustration/Graphics. Film Editing, Game Design, International Design/Business Management, Communication Design, Astrophysics, Graphic Storytelling, Animation & Graphic Design, History of Art/Curation, Graphics & Media Design, Interaction Design, and Design for Art Direction.

Sixteen participants were from institutions that Seika has connections with: Aalto University, Bard College, Lasalle College of the Arts, The Animation Workshop, University of the Arts London, and University of the Arts Utrecht.

This year’s program included 15 lectures on traditional and contemporary culture, plus a Noh workshop, tea culture, traditional Kyoto cuisine, confection-making, and a temple stay (at Ninnaji), field trips to other World Heritage sites, classic gardens and shrines, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and more. Prof. Kokita of Seika’s Faculty of Popular Culture introduced Shigeno Kazuo, an 84-year-old master craftsman dyer, known for his high fashion work with Issey Miyake – an especially memorable experience. As usual we concluded with unique presentations by participants reflecting on their personal discoveries here.

Many thanks again to participants, lecturers and workshop presenters for making this program so successful and enjoyable!

Applications for Kyoto Inspiration 2020 are expected to open March 1, 2020.
Priority will be given to students/graduates from partner institutions.

Comments by participants:

“This program has been a really unique experience. It strikes a great balance between getting connected to Kyoto and to a group of like-minded individuals.”
“This was maybe the best summer course I have ever attended! I felt like I got to know Kyoto intimately in a way I’ve never done before on holiday.”
“Loved this two weeks!”
“Hearing about Shigeno-sensei’s craft and having the chance to visit his house was an unforgettable experience. His generosity and passion are truly moving and inspiring.”
“It was relaxed, enlightening, and educational. You absolutely delivered.”

Report 2018

Kyoto Inspiration 2018 was held from July 2 to 13. Some participants also experienced Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri festival on July 17th.
For the third year of this program, 19 participants came from 8 countries — China, Finland, the Netherlands, India, Israel, Peru, the USA, and Vietnam. Their backgrounds were in Creative Media, Creative Writing, Theater & Education, Art History, Animation, Game Design, Photography, Communications, Textiles, New Media Design, and International Law. Nine participants were studying at schools that Seika has exchange agreements with. 
This year’s program included 15 lectures on a wide variety of elements of traditional and contemporary culture, a Noh workshop and visit to Kyoto’s last Noh costume-maker; ‘ichi-go, ichi-e’ experiences of tea culture, kaiseki-ryori, and a temple stay (at Ninnaji), field trips to World Heritage sites, classic gardens and shrines, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Gion and various pop culture attractions. 
As usual the program concluded with excellent presentations by participants reflecting on their experience here, and what they had discovered. 
Many thanks as always to participants, lecturers and workshop presenters for making this program so successful!
Applications for Kyoto Inspiration 2019 will open March 1, 2019.
Download flyer here

Comments by participants:

“All the field trips/lectures were very eye-opening.”
“The stay at Ninna-ji was awesome.”
“A great balance.”
“I hoped the program would give me a look on Japan from inside, take me places I wouldn’t have gone, and show me things I wouldn’t have seen. It did all of that, and more. The content was great — but the people I got to meet were better.”
“The visit to the Noh costume workshop was phenomenal!”

Report 2017

Kyoto Inspiration 2017 was held from July 3 to 14, with many participants staying on to experience Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri Yamaboko festival on July 17th.
This year (the second time we have offered this program) 20 participants came from 10 countries (Holland, Germany, Turkey, Denmark, Sweden, the USA and UK, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan) — and ranged in age from 16 to 55.
Students and graduates had backgrounds in Animation, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Communication Design, Japanese language studies, Asian Studies, Graphic Storytelling, and Illustration. Ten participants were studying at, or had graduated from, schools that Seika has close connections with.
This year’s program comprised 16 lectures covering many aspects of traditional and contemporary pop culture, four workshops (Manga, Noh, kamon and animation), an experience of tea culture, kaiseki-ryori, and a temple stay (at Ninnaji). In addition, field trips took us to three World Heritage sites, classic gardens and shrines, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, plus Okazaki, Gion and some of Shijo-Kawaramachi’s pop culture attractions.
The program concluded with presentations by participants reflecting on how their expectations of Kyoto and Japan had been shaped by media and publicity, and on how Kyoto had surprised — and inspired — them.
Many thanks to participants, lecturers and workshop presenters for making this program such a great success.

Comments by participants:

“It was the perfect balance. We got to experience both sides of Kyoto: modern and traditional.”
“I really enjoyed every moment of this last two weeks.”
“The destinations were wonderful! Just wish we had a little more time!”
“This has been an adventure of a lifetime. I will never forget it!”
“A nice fully packed schedule.”
“I think these experiences, the people and what I learned in these weeks will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Report 2016

Kyoto Inspiration 2016 was held from July 4 to 17, including the option of attending Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri. Each day’s combination of informative lectures and diverse off-campus resulted in an even better result than we had hoped for.
Our 18 enthusiastic participants — from Holland, Germany, Czech, the USA and Taiwan — ranged from first-year to final year to graduates, mostly students of Animation, but also of Graphic Design, Game Design, Illustration, Film (directing, screenwriting), Fashion Design, and Asian Studies, with many shared interests. All gave unique and well-observed presentations on their personal impressions at the end of the program.
We would like to thank all the lecturers, workshop presenters and everyone else involved for their work in making this first-time program such a great success!

Program Video

Kyoto Inspiration participant Elianne de Waard, from Utrecht, who was accompanied by her sister Elysse, made an excellent video of the program (including clips from free-day trips to Nara, Kurama and Kinkakuji), and has kindly given us permission to share it online (Thank you Elianne!!!)

Comments by Participants:

“The name of the program really was justified, I feel inspired and interested by things I had only briefly heard of before. I feel very grateful to be given this opportunity”
“All lectures and field trips followed each other up well. I feel we were introduced to the subjects in an easy to follow way.”
“Every lecture was very educational. I learned so much about manga and the culture of Japan.”
“A lasting memory.”
“The program was very special and unique. Kyoto has a special place in my heart from now on. The program exceeded my expectations in the best way possible. I know I will come back!”
“Sincere thanks. I had lots of fun.”

Animation Exchange Session

Program participants and Seika students from Animation and Video & Media Arts met up to share their works. An interesting and memorable opportunity for exchange.