Would you believe me if I said that there is a professional Rakugo performer, who is also a Yale University graduate?
The traditional world of Rakugo and the apex of American academia seem so far apart and almost impossible to coexist.
Believe me or not, there is one. Only one in the world, to be precise.
His name is Shinoharu Tatekawa (立川 志の春), the third apprentice of the Rakugo giant Shinosuke Tatekawa (立川志の輔).
I stumbled upon his Podcast recently, and it is really amazingly done. It covers all aspects of Rakugo in English, and I can almost say it is THE BEST introduction to Rakugo for those who do not understand Japanese.
I can’t recommend it more highly. Here’s the link!
First of all, look at the e-flyer above very closely. I distributed it at the performance last night.
Did you notice anything?
Focus at the bottom right corner.
Yes, my funding application has been approved!!! My project is now funded by Auckland Council’s Creative Communities Scheme.
It was approved on 10 April 2018, two days before the show.
What this means is that the funding now covers the cost for the venue and printing expenses for my flyers and marketing materials.
Yes, I am still performing Rakugo out of love (i.e. for free after other expenses), but it is now without a financial risk thanks to the scheme.
Thank you the Auckland Council for this opportunity!
(This picture is completely unrelated to the article… )
Thank you so very much for coming to my first solo show this evening!
You are a legend for coming to support the event right after one of the worst storms ever in Auckland! I love you my dear audience! (Too much?)
Tonight’s stories were “Jugemu”（寿限無）and “A Summer Burglar”（夏どろ）. I personally like performing “A Summer Burglar” better, but “Jugemu” got a much better response.
In the Q& A session, someone asked me how old these stories were. I gave an answer that I’d thought was right, but I was COMPLETELY wrong.
According to my quick research, the prototype of “Jugemu” is found in a book called “Karukuchigozenotoko” (軽口御前男) published in 1703!
“A Summer Burglar” first appears in “Kinokusuri” (気の薬) published in 1778.
So, we can say “Jugemu” is 315 years old, and “A Summer Burglar” is 240 years old.
“Rakugo Techo” by Seiichi Yano