Events & Info

EventRakugo with Katsura Sunshine in Washington DC

June 10 & 12, 2017


Event completed. Don’t miss our report!

Event Reports

On Saturday, June 10, NHK World presented a rakugo event during the ukiyo-e exhibition, “Inventing Utamaro” at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, one of Smithsonian’s Museums in Washington DC.

A Toronto-born rakugo storyteller Katsura Sunshine who also hosts Dive into UKIYO-E on NHK World TV, revealed the hidden stories of Utamaro’s three ukiyo-e paintings which was reunited for the first time in 138 years.

Sitting on a stage called Kouza and using only a paper fan and a cloth as props, Sunshine brought the audience to the floating world of Edo Japan.

The audience enjoyed Sunshine’s witty art of Japanese wordplay and were also impressed by the surprising tales behind each ukiyo-e paintings.

Sunshine had a talk session on rakugo and ukiyo-e with Dr. Julie Nelson Davis who is the co-curator of the Utamaro exhibition. Dr. Davis also talked about her passion towards the studies of ukiyo-e in one of NHK World’s program, Direct Talk.

On Monday, June 12, another rakugo event “Comedy of the Edo Period” was held at Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan. People stood in a long line to enjoy the traditional comic storytelling from Japan.

150 people gathered to see Sunshine’s performance, some even standing. The event opened with Minister Tsukada’s speech.

People burst into laughter when Sunshine performed Chiritotechin, a traditional rakugo story about a man who takes a know-it-all attitude and ends up eating rotten tofu.

Thank you all very much for coming to NHK World’s event. We will come back to Washington DC soon!