Rakugo 落語, “falling words,” is a style of Japanese comedy dating back to the 1700s. Sometimes jokingly referred to as “sit-down comedy,” the story-teller, or rakugo-ka 落語家, wears a kimono and sits in seiza and as he or she tells humorous stories, often based on a set of traditional characters. This is a very Japanese style of humor, often based on dry humor, linguistic puns, and cultural in-jokes.
If you’ve missed out on this part of Japanese culture due to the language barrier, IFIE’s Japanese Language Center is organizing an English rakugo event on Saturday, June 19, 2010 from 13:00-15:00 on the 4th floor of Rifare in Kanazawa.
There will be a basic introduction to rakugo and a rakugo workshop for the participants. The title of the rakugo story is “Samurai” (probably created specifically for the foreign participants).
The workshop will be led by Aguin Sayohime, a rakugo-ka who performs in English and has performed rakugo in the US. Her biography, in English, is here.
Please contact Rohan at rohanranade AT ifie DOT or DOT jp by Friday, June 18, if you would like to participate.
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu. Her favorite rakugo-ka are Yanagida Sankyo and Ryotei Saryu, who performed at Middlebury College Summer Japanese School in 2007 and 2008. Download videos of their performances (with surtitles projected on a screen) here.