The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo
M. W. Shores, University of Sydney
Rakugo, a popular form of comic storytelling, has played a major role in Japanese culture and society. Developed during the Edo (1600–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, it is still popular today, with many contemporary Japanese comedians having originally trained as rakugo artists. Rakugo is divided into two distinct strands, the Tokyo tradition and the Osaka tradition, with the latter having previously been largely overlooked. This pioneering study of the Kamigata (Osaka) rakugo tradition presents the first complete English translation of five classic rakugo stories, and offers a history of comic storytelling in Kamigata (modern Kansai, Kinki) from the seventeenth century to the present day. Considering the art in terms of gender, literature, performance, and society, this volume grounds Kamigata rakugo in its distinct cultural context and sheds light on the ‘other’ rakugo for students and scholars of Japanese culture and history.
For more information: www.cambridge.org/9781108831505
So exciting. I recently had the pleasure of encountering M.W. Shores on New Books in Folklore (podcast). Kamigata Rakugo is ready to shine out from the shadows of Tokyo. Excited to read this work.