Japanese One Man Comedy Show (Rakugo) – University of Copenhagen

Japanese One Man Comedy Show (Rakugo)

Tōgetsuan Hakushu Solo Show

We are proud to present Master Tōgetsuan Hakushu, one of the most popular “rakugo-ka” (rakugo actor) in Japan today.

The Japanese stage art Rakugo is not very well known in Europe. Europeans are used to stand-up comedy, but with rakugo the actor/ comedian kneels on a cushion and does not move for the entire length of the story. But the fact that this Japanese stage art is so different to the European drama tradition does not mean Europeans cannot understand and enjoy it. There are hundreds of rakugo stories, some to make you laugh or yet others are moving and make you cry.

The rakugo-ka only uses fan and tenugui – he doesn’t change costumes either. With his two props he can be a precocious child, a dumb country boy, a sly prostitute, a rowdy craftsman or a strict wife.

The rakugo repertoire is very rich but the same stories are given over and over again. How they are interpreted however depends on the actor, often with different interpretation. He will chose and arrange the story depending on the audience, the season, his mood and the atmosphere in the theatre. So even if the audience knows the story, they will not get bored.

In the entrance part, called makura, the actor might talk about something he has seen on TV, his family, about politics or something that just happened backstage. The larger part of the performance is improvised. However, since this performance will be surtitled in English improvisation is not possible.

Master Hakushu is one of the most popular actors in Japan. Tickets for his solo shows are very hard to get by in Japan, so don’t miss the show.

Along with him are Master Tendon, a popular rakugo-ka who just received the Silver Award at 2014 National Hanagata Engeikai Awards as well as Master Eri, a master of the shamisen, a traditional string instrument used in Japanese theatres.

The event is arranged by Japan Foundation and the University of Copenhagen.
The event is free of charge.

If you wish to know more about Tōgetsuan Hakushu and Rakugo, see the article 'Rakugo i nye klæder' (in Danish) from JP-Explorer.

https://hum.ku.dk/kontakt/findvej/