Slipped Disc, Middle Age, and Upcoming Shows!

Ohisashiburidesu!  Long time no see!

As some of you are aware, I injured my back a few weeks ago while mowing the lawn… therefore joining the league of extraordinary middle aged men.  I am very much proud of my accomplishment.

It was not just a sprained back but a full-blown slipped disc, and I was incapacitated for a while and even ended up cancelling a performance 😦

But my rehab is going really well, thanks to my amazing physiotherapist, and I can even sit in seiza position now!

So I’m finally back to performing Rakugo!

The bright yellow poster at the top is for my last performance of the year.

The show will held 7:30 PM, Tuesday 4 December 2018 at “The Spreading Tree” in Eden Terrace, Auckland.

As a lead-up to this, I am doing another show at Onehunga Library on Wednesday 28 November.  It starts at 10:00 AM.

I will do the same stories for both of these shows, so it would be cool if you could join one of these two.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Some Exciting News and My Schedule!

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お久しぶりです!Long time no see!

It’s about time for an update, and I hope you are ready for more of my Rakugo.

Guess what?

For the last few months, I have been working on a book about Rakugo in English, and about 1/3 of the book has been written so far.

I will probably publish it either as an e-book or a self-published book unless of course a really reckless, risk-taking publisher approaches me 🙂

It could be you.

I am planning to finish the final draft by the end of the year and look into publication early next year.

Keep an eye out for an update here!

In terms of Rakugo performance, the biggest development is that I have just established an agreement to perform Rakugo regularly at “Tsudoi”, a bimonthly Japanese/ English conversation group run by the New Zealand Japan Society of Auckland.

I will probably start performing in November and then decide how frequently I should do Rakugo there.  I was told that I can perform as often as I want to… how awesome is that?

It will be casual sessions, and I am likely to try out new stories and some experimental Rakugo… possibly even Sandai Banashi (三題噺), an improvised Rakugo?

There are some other shows that are getting confirmed:

    1. Update 14.10.18: Due to an injury, this show now has been cancelled 😦 Selwyn Village (43 Target St, Point Chevalier): Thursday 18 October 10:30 AM * This show is mainly for the residents but open to the public.  Make sure to park outside the gate to avoid towing!!!
    2. Onehunga Library (85 Church Street, Onehunga): Date to be confirmed but it will be mid-late November
    3. Retirement home in Royal Oak: I am not too sure if this one is open to public, but if so, I will let you know here or on my Twitter.  It should be sometime in October or November.  My second visit there.
    4. The Spreading Tree (37 Mount Eden Road, Grafton): This is my main show and the last one this year funded by the Creative Communities Scheme.  It will be either late November or early December.

Hope to see you there!

 

My Magazine Interview… Sorry It’s in Japanese!

Gekkan Article

I have just received an interview for a New Zealand based Japanese magazine called “Gekkan NZ”.  If you live in New Zealand, you can get a copy from a Japanese restaurant or a Japanese grocer like Japan Mart.

Sorry it’s all in Japanese and Google Translate doesn’t work as it’s jpg… well, it doesn’t work anyway 😉

Female Shinuchi is Born!

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Exciting news!

Five new Shinuchi (真打)will be born this month!

“Shinuchi” (pronounced “Shin uchi”) is the master status in the Rakugo world i.e. the highest rank that a Rakugo performer can ever achieve.  Only by achieving this status, you are allowed to perform as the headliner in a line-up show and take your own apprentice to preserve the Rakugo tradition.

It normally takes roughly 15 years of full time training to reach this status.

What makes this news even more exciting is that one of the five new Shinuchi this time round is a woman!

Rakugo was traditionally developed by men, and it wasn’t until 1993 that female Shinuchi were born.  I used the plural form because in fact two female Shinuchi, Kokontei Kikuchiyo (古今亭菊千代) and Sanyutei Karuta (三遊亭 歌る多), were born in the same year!

And this month Kokontei Kikuchiyo’s apprentice Kokontei Komako (古今亭駒子) will become a Shinuchi, therefore becoming the first time ever female master-disciple both reaching the Shinuchi status in history.

Rakugo is evolving.

Incorporating more feminine elements into Rakugo will definitely transform this art form.

Exciting time we live in!

If you read Japanese, you can find more information on this page.

My Voice Recording of “The Snow Bride” No.1

I have recently started recording some Japanese stories to improve my voice acting skills and to share non-Rakugo traditional tales with the world.

Thanks to the fantastic The Project Gutenberg, I have found a few scripts that are in the public domain.

My first project is “The Snow Bride” or “Yuki-Onna” (雪女).

It is one of the best known ghost stories that literary everybody in Japan knows.

You can access the full text from here.

As it is a public domain work, I will copy the texts below as well:

Mosaku and his apprentice Minokichi journeyed to a forest, some little distance from their village. It was a bitterly cold night when they neared their destination, and saw in front of them a cold sweep of water. They desired to cross this river, but the ferryman had gone away, leaving his boat on the other side of the water, and as the weather was too inclement to admit of swimming across the river they were glad to take shelter in the ferryman’s little hut.

Mosaku fell asleep almost immediately he entered this humble but welcome shelter. Minokichi, however, lay awake for a long time listening to the cry of the wind and the hiss of the snow as it was blown against the door.

Minokichi at last fell asleep, to be soon awakened by a shower of snow falling across his face. He found that the door had been blown open, and that standing in the room was a fair woman in dazzlingly white garments. For a moment she stood thus; then she bent over Mosaku, her breath coming forth like white smoke. After bending thus over the old man for a minute or two she turned to Minokichi and hovered over him. He tried to cry out, for the breath of this woman was like a freezing blast of wind. She told him that she had intended to treat him as she had done the old man at his side, but forbore on account of his youth and beauty. Threatening Minokichi with instant death if he dared to mention to any one what he had seen, she suddenly vanished.

Then Minokichi called out to his beloved master: “Mosaku, Mosaku, wake! Something very terrible has happened!” But there was no reply. He touched the hand of his master in the dark, and found it was like a piece of ice. Mosaku was dead!

To be continued.