An introduction to the theatrical art of comic storytelling that originated in the Edo period, Rakugo sheds light on Japanese culture as a whole: its aesthetics, social relations, and learning styles. Enriched with personal anecdotes, Rakugo explicates the art's contemporary performance culture: the image, training and techniques of the storytellers, the venues where they perform, and the role of the audience in sustaining the art. Laurie Brau inquires into how this comic art form participates in the discourse of heritage, serving as a symbol of the Edo culture, while continuing to appeal to Japanese today. Written in an accessible manner, this book is appropriate for all levels of student or researcher.
Available for purchase here.