The Rakugo(落語) Experience


Rakugo(落語) , literally mean fallen words. It’s a Japanese style of storytelling.

When a dear friend invited me to her friend’s Rakugo , I was very happy. The price was also discounted, later found out that the seats assigned to us where the one which are normally does not sell, the farthest corner of the hall.

The artist was Katsura, Shunchou and it was his 20th Anniversary as a story teller. I thought that maybe it will last for only an hour or so, but it lasted more than 4 hours and during that period, I laughed , cried and was moved by the emotion he put into the story telling.

The second part of storytelling was about a letter or lyrics that a father once wrote and was found by his son after his death. Instead of just reading it, Katsura-san decided to sing it for us.

The title : 手紙~親愛なる子供たちへ(A Letter – A Parents Love for a Child).

There are lots of emotional part of the lyrics but my dear friend who is a parent could not hold it any longer and was sniffing and sobbing beside me.

During the part where it says: ” When I could no longer stand up or tie my shoes.. please Lend me your hand.” The tears just decided to come out and would not stop.

By the end of the song, my friend and I were a mess.

The third story was about Ertuğrul Fırkateyni, a Turkish ship which was caught by a storm at the coast of Wakayama Prefecture around 1890 . The boat sank but 69 survivors where rescued and nurse back to health by the resident of the island. The 69 sailors were safely returned to Turkey and vowed that this kindness will never be forgotten.

This promised was fulfilled during the Iran Crisis in 1985, when 200 Japanese were rescued by Turkey and was safely brought back home.

I don’t know why, but this story made me cry. I guess I was so moved by a 100 year-old promise that was kept.

To be moved liked this, Katsura-san is a really good story teller. I guess you will not stay in this business for 20 years if you don’t have talent.

It was definitely a nice afternoon spent with friends and tears :).

Have you ever been to a Rakugo? How was it?

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Categories: Life In Japan | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Rakugo(落語) Experience

  1. The art of story-telling predates the art of writing. It may be almost as old as time itself since even where no written word exists, stories have been handed down, by word of mouth, from one generation to the next. A wonderful way to spend time with one who is obviously a great exponent of that most wonderful method of communication. Lucky you, and thank you for sharing

    • Very true. I’m very happy that my friend invited me , I was nervous at first thinking that Japanese skill would not be enough to understand it but it worked out really well. It was definitely a good experience for me.

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