“A Fortune Teller” is Born!!!

I have just finished writing a new rakugo story called “A Fortune Teller”.

It involves “karoshi” (death from overwork or work-related exhaustion), two fortune tellers, and a superhero.

Rakugo is both a traditional art and a popular art at the same time, which gives it a very unique status among the Japanese traditional arts.

It is something to protect as a cultural heritage and also something to evolve so it stays relevant now and in the future.

I’ve always wanted to write something that reflects the early 21st century, and this is it!

It is really absurd (it’s my work after all) and lacks depth at this stage, but I hope it will eventually evolve into something that other English Rakugo performers would want to perform.

As an experiment, I will perform it at my next public performance in December.

As usual, I’ll appreciate your feedback!

(I’m writing this as I wait for my turn at a barbershop. Hope my new haircut will be OK!)

2 thoughts on ““A Fortune Teller” is Born!!!

  1. About new rakugo stories with a decidedly modern touch… did you know this rakugo from the mangaka Kōji Kumeta : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjvFt-Qk_iU

    Since the last 3 years, I practice rakugo as an amateur in japanese cultural events or anime conventions. I did this rakugo for a Quebec (Canada) french-speaking audience, right after a traditional rendition of Toki Udon, so the public could get the references. I adapted it a bit, replacing the allusions to Japan’s then concillor Murata Renho by corresponding allusions to Shinzo Abe and Justin Trudeau (Canada prime minister). I would not allow myself to use modern material if I practiced in a professionnal way, and I always gives the names of the authors of he material I use (or the hanashika I was inspired from).

    I’m planning to organise in the coming years a rakugo show gathering french-speaking hanashikas. so far i have identified two rakugo performers from France and Katsura Sunshine, the Canadian hanashika who learned from Katsura Bunshi VI and can prepare something in french. My ambition is to adapt in rakugo form some of the works of one of our greatest «chansonnier» and poet, Félix Leclerc. And yes, that will be all in french because we in Québec are the french speaking part of Canada!

    Since I also practice fortune-telling, I am very interested in your fortune-telling rakugo ! Is there any chance I could learn more about it ? I am exited to know more about contemporary creations and especially your fortune-telling rakugo !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just watched “Time-Leap Soba”. It’s hilarious!!! Thank you for sharing the clip with me 🙂

    That’s awesome you perform rakugo in French! I have heard of Cyril Coppini, who does rakugo in French, Japanese, and English. I think he’s performed at Japan Day here in NZ as well.

    You might already know, but a shin’uchi performer, Yanagiya Tozaburo Shisho, has moved to New York recently and is planning to start the American Rakugo Association. It is my understanding that he will open up the art to the American people. As he is based close-ish to you, you could possibly ask him to train you and your fellow performers?

    My new story, “A Fortune Teller”, is not really about fortune-telling itself though it is one of the crucial elements. I haven’t tried it in front of a live audience yet, but I will probably test it in my public performance in January.

    Great to connect with you! Let’s keep in touch!


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