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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

The Art of Rakugo

(Japanese Translation below)

Rakugo is a Japanese form of storytelling by one person. It is a very old tradition and has been popular for over 400 years. Rakugo topics are amusing stories about common people’s daily lives. It consists of an introduction and a main body. At the end there is always an ochi, or punch-line. They are funny and emotional stories.

The storytellers are called Rakugoka, and they wear a kimono and are seated on a floor cushion on a stage. The Rakugoka play the role of various characters by themselves. To perform each character skillfully, they change their voice and turn their head to the left and right.

Rakugoka make use of a folding fan and a small cloth called tenugui. For example, the folding fan can be used as chopsticks and the tenugui can be used as a soup bowl. In this way the audience can imagine the stories. Rakugo can be enjoyed by adults and children from all countries. If you are interested in Rakugo, please go to a Rakugo theater or listen to a Rakugo CD.

The Sapporo Rakugo Festival was held from May 24 to May 26 at Sapporo Cultural Arts Theater Hitaru, Doshin Hall and Kyosai Hall. This festival was sponsored by TVH (TV Hokkaido) to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The general admission fee for adults was ¥4,500. The Festival consisted of twenty-eight Rakugoka performing their amusing stories. The festival was a great success due to the audience attendance.

落語 日本語訳

村上 明香






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