Marcin Tatarczuk is a PhD Candidate at Kyoto University, studying Folk culture in contemporary Japan. Marcin's PhD studies are a continuation of his Master's thesis, which he also completed in Kyoto. His studies focus on the Depictions of Japanese Otherworld and Buddhist Hell, but also usage of these traditional motifs in present day Japan's culture and tourism. Marcin also has a Master's degree in Japanese studies at Warsaw University, Poland. There he specialized in Japanese folklore, ancient culture, religion and history. He published a book "Kaidan - Strange Tales of Edo period" (2011) in which he introduces Japanese ghosts, demons and goblins in 17-18th Century Japan. He also co-wrote "The Culture of Heian Imperial Court" (2008) about Japanese culture in 9th and 10th Century. Marcin has a wide knowledge of Japan, starting from its history, folklore and religion, through its politics, post war society, but also has interest in its more recent pop culture and media. In his spare time he enjoys walking through Kyoto’s streets rediscovering its secrets. He also enjoys riding his Kawasaki motorcycle seeking more remote and hidden places. Marcin has lived in Kyoto for 10 years.
Marc enjoys sharing the understanding and the knowledge he gained over the years regarding traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto’s historical patrimony and Japanese society. After earning a Ph.D. in Biology and an M.A. in Psychology in France, he originally came here to carry out postdoctoral research. Passionate about the history and culture of Japan since childhood, he decided to stay in order to learn and study it first-hand. He studied several crafts including pottery, as well as several traditional arts. After many years of study, Marc was granted a 2nd degree tea ceremony instructor certificate and obtained a 3rd Dan in iaido. He also became a connoisseur of Japanese antiquities which he has been collecting and restoring. Before settling in Kyoto, he lived all around the country, in the countryside as well as in large cities for more than 12 years; a rich experience providing him with a wide knowledge of Japan. Marc now lives in the heart of Kyoto with his family in a 100-year- old house he is currently restoring. He presently teaches foreign languages at university and instructs local Japanese guides.
Kana Hattori holds a BA in English from Doshisha University, Kyoto, and another BA in Japanese Classical and Traditional Arts from Kyoto University of Arts and Design. She is also qualified as a tea master from Urasenke school of tea ceremony and is an experienced government-licensed guide. Kana has been studying and working in Kyoto since 2000. During her leisure time, she loves playing the shamisen, and she also performs Kyogen (Japanese 650-year-old UNESCO heritage theater). The Zen Buddhist philosophy, “live in the moment”, has been always the core tenet of her life.