Rakugo (literally meaning “fallen words”) is a multi-character show performed by one person—with very minimal props and only a change in voice or slight change in body movement to distinguish between characters. This particular art form has a history of more than 300 years.
In a seated position on stage, the solo performer (rakugoka) uses only a paper fan (sensu) and a small cloth-like towel (tenugui) as props, and enacts a long, comical story. You can then listen to commentary on the history of Edo from expert Robert Campbell with the help of a movie depicting a digitally recreated version of old Edo. You can also try your hand at performing using a sensu and tenugui after the show.
1:30pm Doors open
2:00pm Rakugo in English by Katsura Kaishi
2:30pm Explanation about the Edo period by Robert Campbell
2:45pm Rakugo experience using a fan and tenugui
3:00pm Opinion exchange and photo session
The performance takes place within the Tokyo National Museum grounds. Admission is free and with pre-registration on the website, you’ll also get free admission to the museum (usually 620yen).