Japanese Culture : お稽古ごと= okeikogoto

December 7, 2010 in Japanese culture

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Today’s lesson is about Japanese culture more than languages.
It’s お稽古ごと = okeikogoto = cultural (hobby) lesson

稽古 = keiko  means to practice something

verb form is 稽古する = keiko suru

Ex. ヴァイオリンを稽古する

= Baiorin wo keiko suru.

= to practice the violin

Customarily women often add “” in front of 稽古 = keiko

Ex. 今日はピアノのお稽古をしないといけない。
= Kyou wa piano no okeiko wo shinai to ikenai.
= I have to practice on piano today.

Ex. 相撲の稽古
= sumou no keiko
= Practice  Sumo / train for Sumo

It is usually used for Japanese martial arts.  It would be a bit strange to use this for modern sports such as サッカー= sakkaa =  soccer, テニス = tenisu = tennis , バレーボール = bareebooru = volleyball.  etc. We use 練習 = renshuu instead.

Ex. 舞台稽古
= butai geiko
= stage rehearsal / to have a dress rehearsal

Now look at the picture above. Maggie says,

“どや! “= Doya! which is Osaka dialect for “How’s that!” proudly when you show off something.

Check  どや顔 = doyagao = lesson

and she is showing her 習字 = shuuji = Japanese calligraphy

(She wrote“= inu = dog and her name, マギー = Maggie)

Japanese children  learn  traditional calligraphy at school, but some children go to a special school to learn calligraphy to improve

their penmanship.

Many children take educational cultural lessons such as piano, violin, ballet, English, etc. even at at a very young age in Japan.

Those cultural lessons for your hobby are called (お)稽古ごと = (o)keikogoto. (= o adds politeness.) or 習い事 = naraigoto

:: Common お稽古ごと = okeikogoto for children

英会話 = eikaiwa  = English (conversation)

体操 = taisou  = exercise class

そろばん = soroban = abacus

水泳 = suiei / スイミング = suimingu = swimming

絵画 = kaiga = painting

空手 = karate = Karate

ピアノ = piano  = piano

バレエ = barei  = ballet

サッカー = sakkaa = soccer


1) Usually the location of the lessons is called  as スクール or 教室 (=  sukuuru or kyoushitsu)

Ex. 体操教室 = taisou kyoushitsu = Exercise class,

Ex. 英会話スクール = eikaiwa sukuuru = English school

2) There are classes targeting very young age called 幼児クラス = youji kurasu = infant class.

3) 学習塾 = gakushuujuku = cram schools are not counted as (お)稽古ごと = (o)keikogoto.

4) They take one or two (or more) cultural lessons a week after school.

We have more choices now but お稽古ごと = okeikogoto has been in Japan for a long time.

Ex. 「おたくのお子さんは何かお稽古ごとをさせていますか
= Otaku no okosan wa nanika okeiko goto wo sasete imasuka?
= Do you make your children take any lessons?

Ex. 「うちは、何もお稽古ごとをさせていません。」
= Uchi wa nanimo okeigototo wo sasete imasen.
= We don’t make our children (child) take any lessons.

Ex. 「うちは週3回、お稽古ごとをさせています。」
= Uchi wa shuu sankai okeikogoto wo sasete imasu.
= We make our child(ren) take lessons three times a week.

Ex.  「今日はピアノのお稽古があるからもう帰らないと。」
= Kyouwa piano no okeiko ga arukara mou kaeranaito.
= I have a piano lesson so I have to go home now.

お稽古ごと = okeikogoto = is not not just for children.  Adults (usually for women) do お稽古 = okeiko (also called as 習い事 = nariagoto) as well and

there is even  magazines or sites for お稽古ごと = okeikogoto = listening up all the cultural l lessons.

The traditional one is お茶 = ocha = tea ceremony, お花 = ohana ,  or 生け花 = ikebana = flower arrangement

They used to be essential for 花嫁修業 = hanayome shugyou = training to become a good wife.

Now a days, お稽古ごと = okeikogoto varies and many of women take lessons not just for fun but also to improve their special skill and make it useful

to get the better job.

There are a lot of スクール = sukuuru or 教室 = kyoushtisu = schools which provides variety of subjects.

But the word お稽古ごと = okeikogoto or 習い事 = naraigoto usually lacks for

The list of common お稽古ごと = okeikogoto

英会話 = eikaiwa = English conversation

(フランス語 = furansu go , 韓国語 = kankokugo = Korean

(Note :  Learning Korean has been very popular among Japanese because of K-Pop and popular TV or movie stars.)

イタリア語 = itaria go, 中国語 =chuugokugo = Chinese etc.)

絵画 = kaiga = paiting

ヨガ = yoga

ゴルフ = gorufu = golf

テニス = tenisu = tennis

フラメンコ = furamenko = flamenco

フラダンス = furadansu = Hula dance

ギター = guitaa = guitar

ピアノ = piano

ボイストレーニング= boisu toreiningu = voice training

料理 = ryouri = cooking

お菓子作り = okashi zukuri = baking sweets

写真 = shashin = photograph

占い = uranai = fortune teller

ガーデニング = gaadeningu = gardening

ジュエリーデザイン = juerii dezain = jewelry design

アロマ= aroma = aroma therapy

着付け = kitsuke = how to put on kimono

Note : お稽古ごと = okeikogoto is also called as 習い事 = naraigoto

Usually languages are called as 習い事 = naraigoto

the verb is 習う = narau = to learn

Ex. 今月はお稽古ごとで忙しい。
= Kongetsu wa okeiko goto de isogashii.
= I have been busy with all the (cultural ) lessons.

Ex. お稽古ごとが多くてお金がない。
= Okkeiko goto ga ookute okane ga nai.
= I am running out the money because of all the cultural lessons.

Ex. 今、何か習っている? or 習い事してる?
= Ima nanika naratte iru? or naraigoto shiteru?
= Are you taking any classes now?

Ex. 英会話を習っています。
= Eikaiwa wo naratte imasu.
= I am taking English lessons.

Note :

* If a man takes a cultural class, do we call it as お稽古ごと = okeikogoto?

It is possible but it may sound a bit feminine.

2) Basically 稽古する = keiko suru  is to practice and 習う = narau  is to learn something 〜を習っている = 〜wo naratte iru = I am taking

or we say 〜の教室(or スクールに通っている = 〜no kyoushitsu (or sukuuuru) ni kayotteiru = I go to 〜 school.

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

= Minna no kuni niwa kouiu okeikogoto ya naraigoto no shuukan wa arimasuka?
= Do you have this kind of custom of taking cultural classes in your country?

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