Rakugo shows ARE happening very soon!

Rakugo Poster April 2018

I am really excited to announce that Rakugo shows are indeed happening in Auckland…

Finally!

One show has been confirmed to be held at The Spreading Tree (37 Mount Eden Road) at 7:00 PM, Thursday 12 April.  I will perform two Rakugo stories and have a short Q&A session afterwards.

In the Q&A session, I will answer your questions about the stories and Japanese culture that you might encounter during the performance.  I would also love to hear your feedback to improve my storytelling skills.

The show will be roughly 40 minutes long so will not interfere with your night out!  Koha is appreciated to cover a portion of the cost for the venue.

Also, 4 more shows are likely to happen at local libraries, which are to be confirmed soon.

Thank you all the amazing people who have helped me heaps to make this happen!

(You know who you are… F.T.  B.J.  A.B.  I.A.  M.N.  You are appreciated!!!)

Funding Application Sent… Fingers Crossed!!!

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I have just submitted a funding application for the Creative Communities Scheme!

If this funding is approved, I will be able to produce three Rakugo shows this year at a small venue in Auckland.

The application is closing in a week… I will update as soon as I find out the result!

Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, if you want to get involved as a performer or a supporter, feel free to drop me a line.

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Where I am as of today!

mandala

It has been a year since I started rediscovering Rakugo.

I used the verb “rediscover” as I had so completely lost in touch with this Japanese tradition for nearly a decade.

In 2009, I did attempt introducing Rakugo to the New Zealand audience in a production called Asian Tales™: Native Alienz.  I wrote an English script for “Mount Head” (頭山) and performed it at Herald Theatre in Auckland.

I enjoyed the whole experience of reconstructing a Rakugo story in English in a way that could be understood by English speakers.  Then… as a man of insatiable curiosity… other creative interests took over, and Rakugo was forgotten.

Last year, I suddenly realised that I had spent about a half of my life in Japan and the other overseas in US and New Zealand.

I was officially a “half and half”.

I decided to explore Rakugo once again as I was curious to see what would happen to pursue it as a more-than-a-half-westernized Japanese.

The process of reconnecting with this uniquely Japanese storytelling is similar to a search for identity.  It has helped me understand who I am.

I initially learned Rakugo as a teenager in Japanese in Japan, but now I perform it in English in New Zealand.

I have to admit that I am a little frustrated, though.

By the lack of my own motivation to actually produce a show.

Yes, I have been practicing it (almost) everyday, and I now have five stories to share: “Jugemu”(寿限無), “Karanuke”(からぬけ), “A Visit to Tenjin Shrine”(初天神), “A Summer Burglar”(夏泥), and “Mount Head”(頭山).

It is definitely a daunting task to learn Rakugo stories and also somehow produce a show by myself… in English… in New Zealand.

But it is about time.

To make it happen.

THIS YEAR!

Oops, did I say that?