Rakugo Workshop

March 21, 2020
past event image
Workshops past event

Saturday, March 21, 11:30 AM–1:30 PM

This event has been cancelled. 

In this workshop, Master Tozaburo Yanagiya will explain the history, gestures and vocal techniques used in Rakugo, a form of Japanese storytelling. After a performance in Japanese and English, participants will also practice telling one of the short stories.

This workshop will be conducted mostly in Japanese; recommended for people at Advanced / Level 10 Japanese and up, or equivalent.

About Rakugo (落語, "fallen words")
In Rakugo, a single storyteller (rakugoka) tells a comical story between multiple characters. Though the storyteller remains seated and only uses a paper fan (sensu) and a small cloth (tenugui) as props, the characters can be clearly seen through the performer’s voice and gestures.

About Yanagiya Tozaburo III "ZABU"
Born and raised in Tokyo, Yanagiya Tozaburo became a disciple of master Rakugo performer Yanagiya Gontaro III in 1999 after dropping out of a prestigious private university. He was promoted to the master Shin’uchi rank, in which he himself is certified to train disciples, in 2014. Ever since, he has performed all over Japan and appeared in the Shoten Rakugo show and other television programs.

Tozaburo excels in the classic Rakugo stories such as Ikuyomochi, a love tale set in Edo Period, Meguro no Sanma, comedy about Shogun’s misunderstanding and Toki Soba, depicting a silly man trying to cheat a soba noodle vendor. He is ambitious in expanding his horizons by adapting Rakugo stories into stage plays and vice versa. He created a Rakugo version of “The Darling” by Anton Chekhov in 2010 in celebration of Chekhov’s 150th anniversary. Currently, Tozaburo is completing his first novel about his late father, Rakugo and theater. He was awarded the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Arts Festival Newcomer Award in 2016.

Tuition: $40 nonmembers/$35 Japan Society members.

  • Saturday, March 21, 2020
  • 11:30 am