Online Workshop VOL.2: Kõdõ – The Tale of Genji - 

Learn the art of kõdõ. Maki Ueda (olfactory artist) has arranged for you to experience “Utsusemikou”, a kumiko based on the motif of “The Tale of Genji”, at home. (Kumiko is a game of guessing the fragrance in kõdõ. It is said that more than 1,000 varieties have been handed down to the present day.)

You will receive +- 10 fragrance sample bottles and perfume strips by post. The fragrances you will receive are woody aromatic scents as agarwood that you can smell at an actual kõdõ session.


3/3 (Wed) 23:59 UTC +09:00 (Japan Time) Payment deadline
3/28 (Sun) 19:00-20:30 UTC +09:00 (Japan Time) The Workshop


  • Payment can be made by PayPal (credit card accepted)
  • Please be sure to provide your address when making the payment by Paypal.
  • Zoom Link will be sent to you by 24 hours before the workshop starts, to the email address you have signed up for by Paypal. (You will receive email from:
  • No refunds will be given. Even if you can’t participate in real time, you will be able to watch the recording for 3 days.
  • The recording will be shared internally in the group only. However if you don’t want your face to be recorded, you can participate by mute.
  • There are no plans to hold the workshop again so far, so if you are interested, please take this opportunity!
  • You can also join with a partner with your ticket.


– fragrances, perfume strips, shipping, tax and paypal fee included
– only 10 places available

Pay 75 EUR with Paypal (Subscription Closed)


The Princess “The Shell of the Locust” (Utsusemi), sensing Genji’s creeping presence in the darkness by his scent, fled her bed, leaving behind a piece of clothing that looked like a cicada shell. There would have been no woman who would not have fallen for him, and he would have been the most attractive and beautiful man in the world. So why did she fled? In this session, we will use the fragrance to imagine (or fantasize?) the night crawling of Genji and the game between men and women.

Without knowing the story you won’t be able to enjoy the session. The knowledge from literature plays an essential role in kõdõ. Please read at least these two chapters before the workshop:
– The Broom Tree
– The Shell of the Locust
(p. 34 – p.57)

About Kodo

Along with the tea ceremony and the art of flower arranging, kõdõ is one of three classical refinements that developed into formalized ceremonies in the 16th century Muromachi period. The practice utilizes incense to create a space for participants to share emotions, imagination, and connections with people living in a different time and space, and is often accompanied by smelling games known as genjikō and kumikō, among others.

The principles behind kõdõ are about more than the scents themselves, however. With its deep roots in Japanese culture, kõdõ touches upon semiotics (the study of symbols and their interpretations), rhetoric, and communication. The result is a ceremony and art with a potentially vast impact.

Mining her own rich catalogue for examples, Maki Ueda will start the workshop with a talk about how conceptual interpretations of kõdõ could be applied in the western artistic context. This will be followed by a thoughtful and artistic interpretation of the kõdõ ceremony.