Rakugo Rocks Legon Today

The stage is set for the first-ever Rakugo Show at School of Performing Arts, Legon, this morning, organisers of the event have said.

Rakugo, a Japanese traditional stage comic storytelling has a history of almost 400 years, and is being performed for the very first time in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

It is performed by one storyteller dressed in Kimono (Japanese traditional wear), seated on a cushion on the stage and holding a towel and a fan.

The storyteller, called Rakugoka, tells a very funny story about everyday Japanese life that throws the audience into laughter.

He or she differentiates the characters by moving his head from left to right with subtle change in tempo, posture, voice, among others.

Rakugo though usually performed in Japanese will be performed in English by the only foreign Rakugo performer; Katsura Sunshine Katsura (real name, Gregory Konrad Robic), a Canadian.

He studied Classics at the University of Toronto which introduced him to ancient Greek comic playwright, Aristophanes. Sunshine’s version of Aristophanes’ ‘Clouds’ ran for 15 months in Toronto before embarking on a tour of central and eastern Canada.

To become a Rakugo performer, one must be an apprentice of a Rakugo master for at least three years under strict master-servant relationship. Katsura Sunshine since his debut performance in 2008 has performed in many countries, including Canada, Singapore, among others.

The show would be repeated at the Silver Bird Cinema, Accra Mall, this evening.

It is being put together by the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation, in partnership with the School of performing Arts.

Meanwhile, the Yosakoi Festival, which is part activities marking the Japanese Week celebration, is expected to ignite fireworks at the Mensvic Hotel tomorrow.

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