Presented by: Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University
Admission: This event is free and open to the public. Performance is in Japanese with English translations.
Featuring YANAGIYA Sankyo and YANAGIYA Kyonosuke
Moderated by Wesley Jacobsen, Professor of the Practice of the Japanese Language and Director, Japanese Language Program, Harvard University
Rakugo is a 400-year-old tradition of storytelling in Japan. Literally “fallen words,” rakugo consists of a brief personal anecdote followed by a longer narrative, ultimately dropping a humorous punchline. Given only a bare stage, a paper fan and small towel for props, and a cushion to kneel on, the performer (rakugoka) single-handedly engages the audience in the comedic tale with a variety of distinctive characters, expressive gestures, and clever wordplay.
Born in 1948, YANAGIYA Sankyo became an apprentice to Yanagiya Kosan V in 1967 and received a shin'uchi rank (highest professional rank) in 1981. He is a veteran rakugo performer who can portray the subtle emotions of a character during a performance. He is currently a board member of the Association of Rakugo Performers. YANAGIYA Kyonosuke was born in 1971 and became an apprentice to Sankyo in 1993. He received a shin'uchi rank in 2007.