February 19, 2017

Japanese Rakugo artists perform in Manila for ‘ANA YOSE 2017’

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  • All Nippon Airways (ANA), the largest airline in Japan, together with Japan Foundation, Manila brought four famous Japanese Rakugo artists to the Philippines to bring laughter to the Filipino audience through Rakugo, an art of Japanese comic storytelling.

    Through an event called “ANA YOSE,” Rakugo masters: Kaishi Katsura and Asakichi Katsura, Shamisen musical performer Eika Utsumi, and Traditional comic performer Lucky Mai took the stage at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati City on February 19, 2017 and performed Japanese sit-down comedy in English version.

    In Rakugo, an artist wears and sits on a small cushion while using only two props: a sensu (Japanese fan) and tenugui (hand towel) to play a number of characters and entice the audience’s imagination to see the hilarious side of Japanese tradition.

    Rakugo master Kaishi Katsura

    This art of comic storytelling dates back to over 400 years as a medium of entertainment in Japan which is still widely popular until today. Previously performed at temples, it is now played at “yoses,” a term used for specialized theaters for Rakugo.

    World’s top performer of English Rakugo,  Kaishi Katsura, re-created the word of Old Japan through hilarious stories and amazing reenactments of different characters while in the comfort of his cushion.

    Shamisen musical performer Eika Utsumi

    Meanwhile, the queen of Japanese instruments Eika Utsumi showed her musical prowess in storytelling with the use of her shamisen, a traditional Japanese guitar with only three strings.

    Rakugo master Asakichi Katsura

    Rakugo master Asakichi Katsura also made the audience laugh out loud with his amusing stories reenacted with the help of his flute.

    Lucky Mai

    On the second half of the event, a round of applause and cheers from the crowd echoed in the venue as Lucky Mai showed her charm in vintage street art by performing acrobatics and other balancing acts that left everyone excited and impressed.

    ANA YOSE 2017 aims to introduce Japanese culture and tradition with Filipinos and other nationalities by having Rakugo in English version for everyone to understand and relate to.


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