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Feel like a Movie Star in Warrior Armor - Experience Real Film Art with an Armor Wearing Experience

Feel like a Movie Star in Warrior Armor - Experience Real Film Art with an Armor Wearing Experience

Become a Military Commander

Kouzu Shokai - The Design House Behind Great Japanese Period Films

Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi and Teinosuke Kinugasa.
Most of the films of these and other internationally celebrated Japanese film directors were jidaigeki (Japanese period dramas).
Jidaigeki have a long history, the first ever said to be a 1908 film directed by Shozo Makino, the “father of Japanese film.”
Makino’s historical picture was entirely produced, shot and distributed by a Kyoto-based studio and film company in Kyoto.
The city also lays claim to being the birthplace of the motion picture in Japan.
In the heyday of the industry, the studios that still exist at Uzumasa today and others dotted around Kyoto, particularly in the Nijo Castle and Shimogamo Shrine areas, were turning out films by the day. 
Founded in 1918 in the then motion picture capital of Kyoto, Kouzu Shokai has been making and providing props, furnishings, samurai armor and swords, carts, and rickshaws for world-famous movies and local hit TV jidaigeki for over 100 years.
In 2003, Kouzu Shokai won a Japan Academy Award in recognition of its contribution as a provider of props since the early days of the industry.
With skills second to none, the company has earned universal acclaim and trust.

Become Your Favorite Warrior with an Armor Wearing Experience

Ten years ago, Kouzu Shokai began offering an experience they’ve dubbed “Let’s Become Military Commanders.” 
Participants can dress and have their photo taken in military commander armor used in actual filming.
The experience has been a hit ever since with members of the public eager to wear the realistic armor seen in movies and on TV. Youtubers and influencers have made it even more popular.
You can pick your favorite style of armor from among famous historical military strongmen such as Takeda Shingen, Taira no Kiyomori, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
From the Sengoku “Waring States” period of the 15th and 16th centuries, choices include not only those of various military commanders, but also a newer style called “gusoku” that emerged in the later part of the period.
Children’s sizes are available, so the whole family can take part.
Among past customers, there have been families who have come for photos to put on their New Year’s card, and even hard-core fans who have “done” every set of armor available.

A Program of Experiences Like No Other in Japan That Only an Art Design Company Can Offer

Because it’s run by an art design company, the experience is more than just the chance to dress up; staff will teach you about the craft and tricks of the trade too.
You can also play a virtual reality game simulating a Sengoku Period battle with your armor on and experience for yourself just how difficult it is to move in!
If you’re interested in experiencing some of Kouzu Shokai’s crafts for yourself, you can take a “sword maintenance” workshop and have a go at replacing the foil coating on a takemitsu (a fake sword made of bamboo or oak used in jidaigeki).
Your sword is yours to take home, so it makes the perfect souvenir of Kyoto.
Kouzu Shokai also holds an annual exhibition of props at the ancient Jingoji Temple, which is famous both for its association with the Grand Master monk Kukai (an influential early propagator of Buddhism) and as the “holy land” of jidaigeki, and staff can arrange walking tours of “film town” Uzumasa, swordsmanship performances, and more (please enquire for details).
The company will be opening a new building in summer 2024 with display space for its collection of artwork and props which visitors will be able to peruse when they take part in one of the experiences.
We hope you’ll take advantage of these experiences not available anywhere in Japan but Kouzu Shokai to immerse yourself in the history of Japanese film.
For more information about tour and reservation
Kouzu Shokai


Activities & Experiences