KIZUNA hosts Sayohime English Rakugo Show (15 April 2019)

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The KIZUNA event for April, held on Monday the 15th at j-Pod (International Seminar House), was an English rakugo show featuring Sayohime, a female performer active mainly in the Kansai region. She has regularly performed at KIZUNA for the past several years, each time with great success.

The 15 April event began with Sayohime outlining the origins of rakugo, a form of comic storytelling with a 300-year-plus history. She then explained the concept of ochi (punchline) and how to use a sensu (folding fan) and a tenugui (hand towel). The artist also demonstrated some of the hand and body gestures used to enact different characters and express emotions. The presentation included numerous video clips, which made it even more informative and easier to understand than her previous KIZUNA appearances.

Following this introduction, Sayohime performed two stories in English "Time Buckwheat Noodles" and " The Death-Horror Story " both of which humorously imparted a lesson about the danger of trying to deceive others out of greed . Her powerful performances vividly conveyed the humor of the characters' dialogue, and elicited frequent laughter from the culturally diverse audience.

Next, she led a rakugo workshop, in which participants practiced two short stories in pairs, with some going on the stage to perform in front of the others. Under Sayohime's instructions, students learned how to use their voices, gestures, and facial expressions to achieve Japanese-style humor.

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to experience traditional Japanese comic storytelling and mingle with other participants, laughing and having fun together in an enjoyable crossing of cultures.

Listening to a short lecture on the history of rakugo

Practicing rakugo in pair work

Practicing a gesture meant to convey slurping noodles

Event participants with Sayohime

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