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What is Rakugo?

Rakugo is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller sits on a stage, called Koza. They use only a paper fan and a small cloth as props to aid their story. Without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical (or sometimes sentimental) story.

Katsura Sunshine

桂 三輝

Kamigata Rakugo performer from Toronto, Canada.

 

Sanki first came to Japan in 1999 to research traditional Japanese performing arts, aiming to pursue the world of rakugo and quickly fell in love with the art. After becoming a disciple of Sane Katsura (currently Fumie) in September 2008, he received the name “Sanki” in 2009. He became the first non-Japanese rakugo performer in 100 years.

 

After training, he conducted his own world tour performances in English and French, visiting 25 countries on five continents in five years. (USA, Canada, UK, France, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, South Africa). In 2015, he moved to London and started Rakugo performances for a total of 6 weeks at the Leicester Square Theater in London's West End in 2017. He then performed rakugo in New York for 6 months starting in September 2019 and resumed performances in March of 2022 after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The rakugo is currently being performed in both New York and London.

As part of his wide-ranging activities around the world, he has been appointed as a cultural ambassador to Canada and a goodwill ambassador between Japan and the Republic of Slovenia, and is based in New York, transmitting Japanese culture to the world.

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