Katsura Kaishi is the premier performer of Rakugo in English. He was recently awarded the Ministry of Culture award for Cultural Exchange. He has won numerous prestigious awards for Rakugo, including the NHK Japan National Television Award for Young Artists, the Ministry of Culture Yew Artist Award, The Hanjoutei Yose Theatre Award for Explosive Laughter, and others. He is one of the most popular storytellers in Osaka, Japan. Up until now, Rakugo could only be seen in Japan. But, in order to bring this art form to the world, Kaishi has, since 1997, performed in over 12 countries including England, Australia, Canada, India, Brunei, and The Phillipines. In all he has performed abroad over 200 times! In 1999 he made his debut at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, he presented a full “Yose” lineup Off-Broadway, a full week of sold-out shows that drew the attention and acclaim of both the Japanese and American media. He is currently touring the United States on a Ministry of Culture grant for cultural exchange.
Having been awarded the Japanese grant for cultural exchange, for the purpose of introducing Rakugo to the world, Kaishi begins his journey on April 1, 2008 in New York. From there, he will travel by car to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Los Vegas, Chicago, and other cities and towns on a grand American tour ending again in New York.

Piling just his living essentials and his Rakugo tools kimono, fan, hand towel, cushion, and unique sense of humor, Kaishi will perform Rakugo in English in more than 30 States.

And not just in theatres! Comedy clubs, schools, on top of bar counters, on the back of tractor trailers... Kaishi can turn almost anything into a platform for Japanese traditional comedy! America, prepare to laugh your heads off, Japanese style!
Hello, my friends!!

I'm Kaishi Katsura, the professional Rakugo performer, from Japan.
Thanks for visiting here.

For those of you who saw Rakugo and who never seen Rakugo,
I'd like to update Rakugo information here.

Currently, I'm on English Rakugo tour for my project of Cultral Ambassador
assigned by Department of Cultral Affair in Japan.
Guess what?!
I'm driving RV, accrossing the US from Las Vegas to Chicago
with my family members and producer.
I have 40 performances in the US and 20 more performances are left
on way to New York.

So far, I think that I'm doing pretty good.
My happiest moment is to see people's laugh, not just laugh,
but big laugh.

Well, I just wanted to say hello to everyone and
hope you guys will check this out often.

Thanks! Anyway, I speak English only on stage....
so... I cannot write you many here. hee hee.

by usarakugo | 2008-04-15 15:05 | diary
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