Cats in Rakugo

15 11 2013

I went to see live “rakugo” for the first time ever a few weeks ago.  You can see it sometimes on TV and there are numerous DVDs available to experience masters of the art form but I have never really taken any interest in seeing something until my friend who was involved in organizing this rakugo event and our mutual friend suggested that I’d try it out.

So I went and it was fun!  The theme of the evening was “cats” and many in the audience were cat lovers but apparently there are not many stories that involve cats in a favorable way in rakugo.

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The venue in Shibuya for the evening.

"The good cat stories as told in rakugo"

“The good cat stories as told in rakugo”

The "rakugoka" of the evening was Tatekawa Shinoharu.  Beside him is an illustrator and a "cat stalker" Harumin Asao.

The “rakugoka” of the evening was Tatekawa Shinoharu. Beside him is an illustrator and a “cat stalker” Harumin Asao.

So the interesting thing about the storyteller, Tatekawa Shinoharu which is a given rakugo name, was that he is a Yale graduate (so I would think his command of English should be quite good if not fluent), worked for the prestigious trading company Mitsui Bussan but decided that rakugo was his calling and left his well-paid job.

Harumin Asao, the lady you see with the furry hat is an illustrator who is known for her book of essays about “stalking” cats which was made into a film.

The two, inbetween the rakugo performances, chatted about cats…

Afterwards my friends and I went out for a little bite.

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2 responses

16 11 2013
Haruko-chan

I love cats so I will definitely have a look at this cat stalking movie. I also got interested in rakugo recently but it is hard to find rakugo in English or with English subtitles on the internet. Unfortunately my Japanese is not good enough to understand rakugo in Japanese. But maybe this rakugo performer will have some shows in English that I could watch.

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16 11 2013
Ayako Mathies

I haven’t seen the film either but it sounds interesting. I have never had a cat but I love following them just to take pictures.

I cannot seem to find any of this guy’s English rakugo repertoire on the web. Will let you know if I do!

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