Toho Gakuen College of Drama & Music, Japan

The Toho Gakuen College of Drama & Music is an institution of higher learning in Chofu City, Tokyo. It was established in 1964 and has offered three majors by now, namely drama, music and stage design.

The Drama Major is developed from Haiyuza Actor Training Class , a training institution for acting troupes which played a leading role after the war in Japan. In 1966, Toho Gakuen College of Drama & Music incorporated the already-closed Actor Training Class for professional actors into its courses. Some great artists originally teaching at the Actor Training Class became professional professors of Toho Gakuen College of Drama & Music, including drama master and director Senda Koreya, dramatist and novelist Abe Koubou and dramatist Tanaka Chikao, meanwhile Japan’s first Drama Major designed to cultivate professional actors was set up. The Drama Major offered by this college differs from other actor training institutions affiliated to various troupes in Japan. The purpose of training professional actors is not only stressing on the drama itself, but also equipping professional actors with extensive artistic culture and conscience required by being a member of the society. Most of the graduates from this college have been active in the field of drama, film, television, broadcasting, etc.
The education principle of the college focuses on the following three aspects. Firstly, to deeply apprehend the meaning of drama by putting oneself in an actor’s position and to gain understanding from both literature perspective and full imagination on drama. Secondly, to develop physical fitness that can translate the imagination into acting. Thirdly, to know the importance of mutual co-ordination, and each actor should make his own contribution to the stage art as it is a collective art form.

The length of schooling in this college is two academic years, each year is divided into two semesters and there are four semesters in total. Each semester has its own definite learning target. In the short four semesters, students will learn the courses in drama acting, music and dancing systematically to become an actor. Various courses, which are essential for being an actor are available theoretically and practically. At the end of the last semester in the second year, students should show their own learning achievements in the form of graduation performance. They will conduct practices and stage rehearsals repeatedly under the strict guideline of professional directors to master the basic skills of being an actor. After graduation, students can continue their studies for another two years to accomplish undergraduate program and lay a solid foundation for being a professional actor.