Online lesson ;
SHOMYO | IMAYO and Shirabyoshi song

Online lesson for IMAYO and Shirabyoshi song

Lecturer: Makiko Sakurai

Nhihon Ongaku・Kayo Shiryoshu(Japanese Music・Song collection) : editing; Kenji Hirano and Kazuo Fukushima editing, published; Benseido , 1977

Imayo was a popular form of song during the Heian Period (794-1185). Waka has a 5-7 vowel rhyme that is famous. Imayo has 4-4-5 vowel rhyme. Imayo has more rhythmic beats and unique modulated melody compared with Roei, Saibara and Shomyo which were classic songs during the Heian Period.
Shirabyoshi were active as singers and dancers during the Heian Period. They would create Imayo from classic songs of the Heian Period.
This lesson begins by starting to learn Imayo followed by Shirabyoshi songs called “Zogei”, “Kyoge” “Shoka” etc, .

How to start?

1. Please fill out the application form.
Click this following link. Fill in all items and press the button send“send”.

2. Payment of fees is through Paypal.

3. Transfer US$10 as initial fee to my Paypal account.

4. When payment is confirmed, I will send an explanation of Imayo technical terms, score and sound source to you. Please remember, don’t post, share or redistribute any of these documents. They are copyrighted.

5. When you wish to begin an Imayo lesson, please e-mail to and write “I want to begin an Imayo online lesson” in your e-mail. We will then create a schedule for an online lesson.

6. Lessons are conducted using Skype, Zoom or Face Time.

7. Imayo lesson fee is US$50 for 45 minutes.

8. Please make your payment via Paypal after our lesson within 3 days.

9. I will send a receipt by e-mail.

Let’s try learning Imayo.

Sakurai Makikiko

Makiko Sakurai

Songwriter/Vocalist(Tendai Ohara chant)/ Performer (Shirabyoshi)
Since 1986 Makiko Sakurai has studied Shomyo, the ancient Heian period (781-1192 AD) form of chant associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, with teachers Genshin Nakayama from 1989 to 2017 and studied ryu-teki (gagaku flute) from Sukeyasu Shiba from 1986 to 1996.
Ms. Sakurai received a masters’ degree in 1988 at Tokyo College of Music, majoring in composition.
Ms. Sakurai studied the Itako music of the Tsugaru area of southern Aomori in 1990.
In 1994 she received a scholarship from the ACC (Asian Cultural Council) to study the Navajo language at Navajo Community College in Arizona and the music of the Navajo
and Hopi peoples.
She then returned to her practice of Heian Period chanting and dance of “Shirabyoshi” in 1997 when she created “Mononoke princess”which she performs in its pure unaccompanied form.
In 2008 she went to Israel again specially to study Yemenite ritual music “Deawan” from Gira Beshari.
Ms. Sakurai has written the scripts for her original collaborative pieces with Noh theatre including “Manhattan Okina” performed yearly (2007-2019).
And she held “Buddhist service for Gaza”chanting the“Amida sutra”by Shomyo performed yearly since 2009.
When she returned to Japan, she composed “Oriental music” the content of which included both Magrib (western Arab) music and Japanese music and this was performed in the “Arab Shirabyoshi Project” from 2014.
Ms. Sakurai holds a fifth dan (degree) in Aikido.