Yoko Hiraoka

Yoko Hiraoka is a senior master performer of Japanese stringed instruments – Koto, Shamisen, Biwa — and singing voice. She is a native of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan and studied classical string music from an early age. Ms. Hiraoka also studied the art of Japanese Tea Ceremony from age 14, and is a certified teacher of the art in the Omote Senke lineage.

Her professional performance career originated in Japan and spans almost 30 years. Since moving to the U.S in 1993, she has performed extensively at prominent universities including Yale, Princeton and UCLA, festivals, lecture-recitals, and on television/radio and studio recordings. She also has been presenting the art of Japanese Tea Ceremony for cultural events in various cities throughout the U.S.

Yoko is available for part-time or full-time residencies. Each workshop is approximately 45 minutes long and for one class size.

Visit the Artist’s Website

Yoko Hiraoka is available for full or part-time residencies.


Book a Program with this Artist

Explore: Cultural Arts, Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Storytelling, Calligraphy, Folk, Haiku, Japan, Nature, Poetry, Tea Ceremony


Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.

  • Samurai Warriors Stories — The Art of Japanese Traditional Musical Storytelling

    Performance for grades K through 12th

    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 exciting stories 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. Her performance will take the audience into a thrilling world of Samurai warriors and Japan’s medieval times.

  • Cross-Cultural Workshop Series for Creative Kids: Folk Songs and Dances from Japan

    Workshop for grades 1st through 12th

    Students learn about the world of Japanese music and dance in this cross-cultural workshop, providing vivid contrast to what they are accustomed to in their ordinary life. Japanese folk song’s rhythms and melodies will inspire the students to explore different cultural dimensions; what part of the music/dance is the same and what is different from what they normally experience?

  • Cross-Cultural Workshop Series for Creative Kids: The Art of Brush Calligraphy

    Workshop for grades 1st through 12th

    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. From a single stroke character to more complex ones, they will be guided creatively during the workshop. Each student needs a medium-size calligraphy brush, calligraphy ink (watercolors can be used as substitute) and many sheets of paper. Please contact the artist if you need more information about the material.

  • A Musical Journey to Japan

    Performance for grades K through 12th

    Yoko performs on the koto (Japanese 13-stringed zither) 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.

  • The Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony – A Cultural Trip to Japan

    Performance for grades K through 12th

    The Tea Ceremony is one of the oldest arts of Japan, a beautiful ritual of tea making and drinking. As part of the Tea Ceremony, students learn how to look at artistic objects such as pottery bowls, calligraphy scrolls and flower arrangements. Participating in the Tea Ceremony encourages students to develop an appreciation of tranquility and harmony within their world at large, and a respectful attitude towards people and objects around them. Students will also learn about Japanese societal manners, customs, traditional clothing, architecture, language and aesthetics.