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Traditional Humorous Storytelling From Japan

Traditional Humorous Storytelling From Japan

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  • Sat 31 Aug, 4:00pm – 5:30pm


Auckland Zen Centre, 52 Princes Street, Onehunga


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Donation: $0.00

Traditional comic storytelling from Japan, in English, performed by Hiroshi Nakatsuji.

Richard von Sturmer will open the evening with a reading of new work.
Dating back to the 9th century, rakugo(Japanese storytelling) is said to have originated from the efforts of Buddhist monks to stop people from falling asleep during their sermons. The art form involves a lone storyteller who remains seated throughout the performance.

With only a fan and towel as props, they must use their words to conjure up vivid images in the audience’s minds. Nakatsuji first encountered rakugo as a child, when he stumbled across a cassette tape at the local library. It captured his imagination, and he went on to join a rakugo club at university.He had the opportunity to perform rakugo in New Zealand in 2009, as part of a theatre project called Asian Tales: Native Alienz. He introduced the style to his director, Tony Forster.

“We kind of created this ‘New Zealand’ version of rakugo together.” In 2016, Nakatsuji connected with a rakugo teacher based in Japan, Kanariya Eiraku, who specialises in English performance. He gifted Nakatsuji with his stage name, Kanariya Eishi. “’Shi’ is from my real name, ‘Hiroshi’. ‘Ei’ means English. So as a whole it roughly means ‘Hiroshi who does rakugo in English’.”

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