The traditional art of one-man story-telling, Rakugo, has been enthralling audiences in Japan since the nineteenth century. A single figure sits in the traditional seiza style on stage and ensnares his audience using a fan, a cloth and his own voice. Although many Rakugo stories are comedic, there are many types of dramatic stories performed by Rakugo masters and beloved by audiences.
We are honoured to be offering those involved in Japanese language education and Japanese intellectual studies (both students and teachers) an opportunity to participate in our online Rakugo Performance and Introductory Lecture Event. Yanagiya Sankyō and Ryūtei Saryū, two renowned masters of Rakugo, will showcase their incredible skills with two performances. Professor Kazumi Hatasa of Purdue University, an expert in Rakugo, will give an explanatory lecture on the art of Rakugo performance. Professor Hatasa has conducted research into how the traditional art of Rakugo can be used to enhance Japanese language education.
The purpose of this event is not only so participants can enjoy extraordinary Rakugo performances, but also so they can gain a deeper understanding of Rakugo as an art form and how Rakugo can be utilised for the purpose of Japanese language education and Japanese intellectual studies.
This event will take place entirely online and is limited to participants who are involved in Japanese language and Japanese intellectual studies at an undergraduate or postgraduate university level.
The capacity for this event is 100 people. You can sign up by filling out the Google Form.
Please click here to register for this event using our Google Form.
We will send you an e-mail notifying you if you have been successful and explaining how to access the Zoom meeting.
The deadline for applications is 19th June 2020 (Friday).
The lecture will be held in English, and the performances will be in Japanese with English subtitles.
- Date/Time: 25th June (Thursday), 10:00am – 11:30am (BST), 11:00am – 12:30am (CET).
- Location: Online event using Zoom software. Find out about Zoom here.
- Speakers and Performers:
Yanagiya Sankyō (Rakugo performer, recipient of the 2014 Japan Foundation Award)
Ryūtei Saryū (Rakugo Performer)
Professor Kazumi Hatasa (Professor of Japanese, Purdue University)
- Participants: Students and teachers involved in Japanese language education and Japanese intellectual studies in the United Kingdom and Europe.
- Maximum Participants: 100
Introduction to Rakugo (Professor Kazumi Hatasa)
Demonstration of gestures used in Rakugo (Yanagiya Sankyō with Professor Hatasa)
Rakugo Performances (Yanagiya Sankyō and Ryūtei Saryū)
Performance one: Ryūtei Saryū performing “Tsuru”
Performance two: Yanagiya Sankyō performing “Ikuyo-mochi
Questions and Answers (in English and Japanese)
Profile of Performers and Speakers
Yanagiya Sankyō (stage name) is a Rakugo Master from Tokyo. He has been a Rakugo performer since 1967 and achieved Shin’Uchi Rakugo Storyteller Master status (the highest Rakugo rank) in 1981. Currently, he is the Permanent Director of the Rakugo Association. Yanagiya Sankyō was a recipient of the Japan Foundation Award in 2014, for his work incorporating Rakugo in the field of Japanese language education. In 2017 he was given the Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon by Japan. He has performed Rakugo all over the world, including in the USA, Europe and South Korea.
Ryūtei Saryū (stage name) is a Rakugo Master from Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture. He began performing Rakugo in 1993. Ryūtei Saryū was an apprentice of Yanagiya Sankyō from 1993. He was promoted to Shin’Uchi Rakugo Master Storyteller status (the highest Rakugo rank) in 2006. He has performed Rakugo all over the world, including in Europe. From 2013 he has been working as a part-time lecturer at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, teaching about Edo culture and Rakugo.
Professor Kazumi Hatasa
Kazumi Hatasa received his Ph.D. in Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. He started teaching at Purdue University in 1988, and is currently a professor in School of Languages and Cultures. He was Director of the School of Japanese at Middlebury College from 2004 to 2018. He has been working with professional performers to introduce students to Rakugo and Yose.