Rakugo


Late 2019, my wife and I were approached by performance company to translate Rakugo plays for a New York audience. It wasn't as easy as I first thought. You see, Rakugo is a very traditional art form of story telling. There's a man (or woman) sitting on his/her knees, telling a story. Usually funny. Rarely scary. The stories were developed in the Edo period (1603–1868). 

The New York performance was cancelled due to Covid-19. It was also cancelled for this year as well. But the students (performers all 55+ years old) had practiced for a year. Most do not speak any English. They did a good job. 

I say Rakugo play because this wasn't a traditional performance. There were 8 or 9 people and they acted the story. There were also some songs and dance routines. But they made them funny. It's hard to explain the actual performance as a bit of Japanese ancient culture knowledge is required. They did have a lady standing to one side to introduce the story, with a bit of the background on the times. 

The play used traditional Rakugo stories and it was broadcast on YouTube Live for 2000yen. 1000yen for archive version. Sorry, I have no photos. It was live and I was LOL with the wife. 

That was my Sunday. How was yours? 

  

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