Rakugo and the Media Exhibition at Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum

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Rakugo (落語) is a traditional Japanese art of storytelling which dates back to the Edo period. The rakugoka (the storyteller) entertains the audience with a comical monologue, changing the tone and pitch of his voice to differentiate characters. Recently, there has been dramatic changes never seen before in the art form and the environment surrounding rakugo, which is enjoying its revived and rising popularity. For instance, over 900 rakugo performances are held each month, only within the Kanto region. Furthermore, rakugo has expanded to a variety of media, including radio, television, internet, CDs, DVDs, film, drama, manga, and anime. The diversity of its availability is what supports the art of rakugo in modern-day society. Even historically speaking, there is no other art form that pioneered and adapted to all kinds of media as rakugo has. This exhibition examines the relationship between rakugo and the media involved, including yose mini theatres, shorthand writings, records, radio, and television, demonstrating how changes in the media environment involving rakugo has effected its art and transformation.

Exhibition information
  • Date: October 1, 2016 – January 18, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 – 17:00 (On Tuesdays and Fridays, until 19:00)
  • Free Admission
  • Closed: 10/5, 10/19, 11/2 – 11/4, 11/16, 12/7, 12/21, 12/23 – 1/5, 1/8, 1/9
  • Venue: 2nd Floor of Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum
  • Sponsored by Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum/Collaborative Research Center for Theatre and Film Arts
  • In Cooperation with Office Emuzu Co. Ltd., KING RECORD CO. LTD., and Kodansha Co. Ltd.

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Travel back in time to the yose mini theatre! An interactive exhibition

From the end of Edo to the Meiji period, yose was the place to go entertainment for ordinary citizens. Every town had a yose, and people in the neighborhood stopped by lightheartedly to see a show. By reconstructing the intimate atmosphere of the yose mini theatre at the time, we would like visitors to experience what this space was like for people back then. Rakugo performances will be shown the screen set in the kouza, where the storytellers sit and tell their monologues.

Grant from: the Agency of Cultural Affairs

Photos from the exhibition

2016
Oct 1 - Jan 18
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