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).Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.