English Rakugo: Ofuku Yose
Rakugo is a 500 year-old form of comedic Japanese storytelling that is still popular today. The storyteller kneels on a cushion to tell a funny story written in dialogue format. He/she performs each character in the story by switching focal points, postures, and voices. The storyteller uses two props, a fan and a type of towel. These objects can become many things such as wallets, chopsticks, or cigarettes. The art form dictates that each story ends on a punch line. Ofuku Yose has been translating and performing rakugo in English, in Osaka, Japan, for seven years, although some members have over 30 years of rakugo experience. Their performance will include many stories, such as "The Gambler" (about a young tanuki and the gambler who saves him), "Eye Doctor" (about an attempt to clean dirty eyes), and "Chi-li Tote-chin" (about a miserly old man who gets taught a lesson). There will also be a workshop at the end of the performance, in which the audience can get a chance to try rakugo for themselves.
Added by Malidog on July 30, 2005