2015 / Funny, horror, and human Japanese stories to be recited in English on “Rakugo” stage, Aug 15

Kanariya Eiraku will lead a company from Japan to recite Japanese stories in English. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Kanariya Eiraku will lead a company from Japan to recite Japanese stories in English. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Saturday Show was held from 1 pm – 3 pm.


Eleven storytellers from Japan will recite Japanese stories in English on Aug 15 and 16 in Los Angeles. The program includes various types of Japanese stories such as funny stories, horror stories, and human stories, all programs will be performed on “Rakugo” style stage.

Consisting with these eleven reciters, Canary English Rakugo Company from Japan aims to enhance cultural exchange with Japanese and Americans in Los Angeles.

University lecturer and English instructor Tatsuya Sudo developed a unique method of learning English for Japanese. In Japan, rakugo is a reciting story performed by one person. Fictitious conversations are created in one person stage. Sudo discovered this uniqueness of the traditional Japanese reciting art and combined English language with rakugo performance, and started his English Rakugo classes in 2007 in Tokyo.

Because rakugo is a solo performance, an English language leaner does not need a conversational partner when he or she creates fictitious English conversation. Therefor English language learners can practice their English conversations at anywhere and in anytime. Self-conversational method for English language learners was already introduced by famous English professor Toru Matsumoto of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo long time ago. But combining rakugo performance with English conversation is Sudo’s brain child.

All rakugo performers in English are given each stage name with the surname of Kanariya.

In August recital in Los Angeles, performer’s stage names, real names, occupations, and programs are following:

Eiraku Kanariya (Tatsuya Sudo, English instructor): Nopperabo (flat face), Snow in Hawaii (written by Yanagiya Kyotaro)

Sam Kanariya (Susumu Enami, retiree): A Summer Burglar

Tanekichi Kanariya (Yasushi Oikawa,, actor): The Zoo

Kappa Kanariya (Takao Terada, teacher): The long-tempered vs the short-tempered, Let it be

Edamame Kanariya (Masakuni Tsukamoto, retiree): Shiba Beach

Kosei Kanariya (Maki Nagano, retiree): A Heron Hunter

Shichimi Kanariya (Yuko Tokuda, teacher):The Racoon Dog that Returned the Favor

Ichirin kanariya (Masako Uehara, teacher): Moving Out

Wakakusa Kanariya (Yukiko Narabe, tour guide): Chiritotechin (A man who pretends to know everything)

Masa Kanariya (Masaaki Kobayashi, retiree): A Smart Kid

Yuntaku Kanariya (Takuya Ominen, office worker): Zen Debate, the God of Death

Reciting Japan’s traditional stories in English on “Rakugo” stage will take place on August 15, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo, and on August 16, from12:00 pm and 3:00 pm (two stags) at Opus Music, 2219 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501. (310) 618-1185.

Admission free. Open to the public. But seats are limited. For more information about this event, contact Tak Minei of Opus Music by email takminei@yahoo.com or call (310) 618-1185.