Book Review: Fallen Words

As I hold a copy of Fallen Words by Kristine Ohkubo, I can’t help but feel that a new era of rakugo history has arrived!

You may or may not realise the connotation of the publication of a book like this, but it is truly revolutionary and paradigm-shifting!

For the first time ever since the conception of rakugo about 400 years ago, a non-Japanese rakugo script writer in the English language has finally emerged.

There have been a few foreign-born performers who have translated, written, and performed rakugo in English and other languages, but as far as I know, she is the first professional writer who has published rakugo scripts in English.

This book is a compilation of 5 new and original rakugo scripts on a variety of themes.

All the scripts display her deep understanding of this art, and it was especially delightful to read the stories called A Child’s Coins that was inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales and Börte’s Kidnapping, which is based on the life of Börte, who was the first wife of Genghis Khan.

It is a must-read for all rakugo fans, and you can purchase your copy on the author’s website.

By the way, the tenugui (Japanese traditional towel) in the background of the photo above is from my hometown, Oiso. The design is based on a famous folklore about a divine octopus, which I will share sometime when I write more about my recent trip to Japan.

The puffer fish rock is a lucky charm from Oiso 😊