SOLD OUT Rakugo: Traditional Japanese Comedy

November 3, 2006
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Performance past event

Thursday, November 2 & Friday, November 3 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 4 at 2 pm

This program is sold out.

Pre-performance lecture 1 hour before all showtimes. Free to ticket holders. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Think stand-up is funny? Take a seat for rakugo. Best described as the traditional Japanese vaudeville-entertainment of comic storytelling, rakugo presents a solo performer seated on a small cushion who acts out hilarious anecdotes, slipping in and out of the role of the narrator and other characters with a mimetic gestural language and a handful of props such as a fan and a tenugui (hand towel).

This program features four routines celebrating the four seasons. The program includes traditional kamikiri, the trick of cutting folded paper into a variety of surprising designs, and will be accompanied by live shamisen, the venerable Japanese three-string lute. Evolving from entertainment for commoners during the samurai period at the end of the 17th century, rakugo became a powerful force in the blossoming of popular culture during the Edo period, and is currently enjoying a renewed boom in popularity in Japan. Notable members of the Rakugo Geijutsu Kyokai (Rakugo Arts Association) star in the evening’s performance, including highly celebrated TV regular and rakugo legend Katsura Utamaru, the “Johnny Carson” of Japan.

Tickets: $35; $30 Japan Society members. 

Ticket-holders get free gallery admission to Contemporary Clay: Japanese Ceramics for the New Century on the day of performance.

  • Friday, November 3, 2006
  • 7:30 pm