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Introducing the "15th Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out


Don't Miss Out on the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival"


We are pleased to introduce the 15th "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival," which will be held on Saturday, June 22nd, and Saturday, June 29th, at the Akagi Shrine Sanshuden (Akagi Hall). Before that, let us briefly explain what rakugo is.


Rakugo is a form of storytelling that became popular among commoners during the Edo period. It is a traditional Japanese performing art where the storyteller sits and performs humorous or sentimental stories alone, using only a fan (Sensu) and a hand towel (Tenugui) as props. The performer plays multiple roles through gestures and voice variations without moving from their seated position.


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out

Each rakugo story ends with a clever punchline called "Ochi" (落ち). The term "Rakugo (Ochi Hanashi)" itself comes from "Otoshi-Hanashi" (落とし噺), which means "punchline story." Rakugo is also referred to as "Hanashi," and rakugo performers are often called "Hanashika."


A basic technique of rakugo performers is "Kamishimo wo Kiru" (literally, "cutting upper and lower"), which refers to turning their head and body to the right or left to indicate different characters during a performance. On stage, the right side from the audience's perspective is called "Kamite" (upper seat), and the left side is "Shimote" (lower seat). Performers depict characters who are older or of higher status sitting on the "kamite" side. Therefore, when characters speak, the performer changes their body and head orientation according to the character's position and tone. Understanding this "Kamishimo wo Kiru" technique deepens the appreciation of rakugo.


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out

Rakugo's humorous stories reflect the essence of Japanese culture and are considered a source of Japanese humor. Japanese humor is characterized by its subtlety, empathy, and avoidance of offending others. It creates warm, gentle humor through nuanced language and situations rather than direct jokes.


Interest in rakugo is growing internationally, with more intercultural events and overseas performances. There are even foreign rakugo performers. For example, Cyril Coppini (stage name: 尻流複写二 Cyril Fukushani), a French resident in Japan, served as a host at the "Kagurazaka Street Stage, Oedo Tour 2024" held on May 18th and 19th. Rakugo's humor transcends language barriers and serves as a means of intercultural communication.


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out


At the "Kagurazaka Street Stage, Oedo Tour 2024," master storyteller Ryūtei Koenshi performed rakugo, which was very well received by Japanese-speaking foreigners. After the performance, many gathered around Koenshi to take pictures and excitedly talk about how much they enjoyed the show. This illustrates how rakugo can be enjoyed by both Japanese and foreigners as long as the language is understood.


The 15th "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival" has already sold out tickets for the evening session on Saturday, June 22nd (featuring 柳家喬太郎 Yanagiya Kyōtarō and 三遊亭わん丈 Sanyūtei Wanjō) and the afternoon session on Saturday, June 29th (featuring 古今亭菊之丞 Kokontei Kikunojou and 桃月庵白酒 Tōgetsuan Hakushu). However, tickets for the afternoon session on the 22nd (featuring 古今亭菊之丞 Kokontei Kikunojou and 古今亭文菊 Kokontei Bungiku) and the evening session on the 29th (featuring 林家正蔵 Hayashiya Shōzō and 柳家三三 Yanagiya Sanza) are still available.


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out

The rakugo performers at this year's "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival" include Yanagiya Kyōtarō, Sanyūtei Wanjō, Kokontei Kikunojou, Tōgetsuan Hakushu, Kokontei Bungiku, Hayashiya Shōzō, and Yanagiya Sanza—a total of seven master storytellers (Shin’uchi). In Tokyo, rakugo performers are ranked into three levels: "Zenza" (apprentice), "Futatsume" (second rank), and "Shin’uchi" (master). "Zenza" is a training period where performers study rakugo and assist their masters. "Futatsume" performers wear formal attire and have their own entrance music (Debayashi). After about ten years as "Futatsume," they are promoted to "Shin’uchi" based on their master's judgment. Upon promotion to "Shin’uchi," a celebration party is held, and they are addressed as "master."


In typical rakugo performances, it's common to have a combination of "Futatsume" and "Shin’uchi" performers. However, the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival" features only "Shin’uchi" performers in all sessions, making it an exceptionally luxurious event.


Tickets are Running Out at the 'Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival'


Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out and join us at the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival." I plan to attend the afternoon session on the 22nd.


Venue


Akagi Shrine Sanshuden (Akagi Hall): 1-10 Akagi Motomachi, Shinjuku


Introducing the "Kagurazaka Rakugo Festival": Tickets are Running Out

Access


Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Kagurazaka Station, Exit 1b: 1-minute walk

Toei Oedo Line, Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station, Exit A3: 8-minute walk


Ticket Purchase Information


■ Phone Reservations

Confetti Ticket Center: 0120-240-540

(Weekdays 10:00-18:00 / Operator assistance available)

■ Online Reservations


Contact Information


Kagurazaka Traditional Performing Arts Executive Committee Office (Ikimachi Co., Ltd.)

TEL: 03-6426-1728 (Weekdays 10:00-18:00)



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