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!
Performance in San Jose!!
Unexpected guests came over to my show today.

One of them was graduated from “JOY” in Obihiro, Hokkaido where I performed before This time, she brought her cute daughter with her to see my show. It took for them 2 hours to get here!! Thanks!!

The other couple was yoko san and Tsukasa san. They really love Rakugo and come to the “Kaneyo Kiseki” that's taken place in Kyoto every month. They told me that they came all the way from Japan only to see my show. I was so surprised, but the truth was that they came to the USA because of Tsuksa san’s business.

At the reception, the guests and I really enjoyed a wonderful classic taste of Japanese green tea, “Oi Ocha,” produced by Itoen. This tea is the most popular green tea beverage in Japan. The great thing is that "Oi Ocha" is high in antioxidants, unsweetened, and calorie free!!
You can now buy this tea in the USA!! Check it out !!

by usarakugo | 2008-05-17 23:00 | diary
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