For the first time in Sri Lanka, Rakugo, the traditional Japanese stage comedy will be shown at the Sasakawa Cultural Center Auditorium on Tuesday 22nd November 2011 from 7.00 to 8.30 p.m. and will be presented in English by the Rakugo Master Utazo Katsura, a renowned Japanese comedian (Rakugo-Ka).
Rakugo is a Japanese humorous approach to fundamental human experiences. It is the art of imagination and the audience is free to imagine features and background of culture. The roots of Rakugo can be traced to the end of 17th century and Rakugo stories were intended to communicate the lighter side of what happens in the society and give people social knowledge. As it developed and became entertainment for common people, the halls (Yose) where Rakugo was performed became centers for social gathering in Japan.
Rakugo-Ka wears traditional formal Japanese costume (Kimono) and sits down on a cushion in the middle of the stage and tries to capture the audiences’ imagination through facial expressions and humorous stories. The performer is usually equipped with a fan (Sensu) and hand towel (Tenugui). These items help the performer to express and act out the story. For example, the fan can be chopsticks, scissors, cigarettes, pipe, or pen. The towel could be a book, bills, or an actual towel.
The Rakugo performance has been organized by the Embassy of Japan in collaboration with The Japan Foundation and the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS). Admission to the show will be free of charge to the general public on a first come first served basis.