2024/2/28 ARIZONA / Japanese Culture Club to sponsor “Arizona Rakugo in English” in Scottsdale on Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 4PM

The Japanese Culture Club of Arizona sponsors “Arizona Rakugo in English” at Harumi Yoga + Holistic Healing and Meditation Center, 10051 E. Dynamite Blvd. Suite G105, Scottsdale AZ 85262, on Wednesday, February 28 from 4pm – 5:30pm. Tickets are $25. Register Here

Rakugo is a Japanese story telling treasure trove of laughter, tears, and terror best shared with the world. In 1983, Katsura Shijaku, a very popular rakugo storyteller in Osaka began performing rakugo in English. He paved the way for the dozens of English rakugo storytellers who currently perform in Japan.

Members of the English Rakugo Association have performed rakugo in the English language both in Japan and overseas.

Rakugo dates back to the 16th century. Rakugo storytelling originated with short stories and the stories gradually became longer.

The narratives are based on a wide range of topics, from comical to sentimental, and sometimes even tragic. They are conveyed by a lone storyteller seated atop an elevated stage called a koza, using only a paper fan and a hand towel as props.

The tales involve conversations between multiple characters and the storyteller switches fluidly from one character to another, changing his voice, facial expression, and mannerisms to fit the character who is speaking. A slight turn of the head and a change in pitch is used to indicate a switch from one character to another.