Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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September 19, 2013

Katsura Sunshine, Japanese Rakugo Comedy Performances(September 13 &14, 2013)

The Consulate-General of Japan in Houston together with the Japan-America Society of Houston and Japan Foundation organized two performances for professional Rakugo comedy storyteller, Katsura Sunshine as part of his debut North American tour of 16 cities.  Chiho Kitagawa accompanied Katsura Sunshine to Houston on the tour to act as M.C. and provide background on the traditional Japanese art form and Katsura Sunshine’s performance.  Rakugo, or “falling word,” is a 400-year-old ancient performance art form which involves a lone performer dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion and aided only by the use of two props: a fan and a small hand towel.

Canadian born Katsura Sunshine is the only foreign storyteller among almost 700 practicing professionals today.  As the 15th apprentice of the great Rakugo Master, Katsura Bunshi VI, Katsura Sunshine brings the Japanese tradition to a new audience by offering performances of Rakugo in English.  Katsura Sunshine performed to an audience of over 200 at Rice University on Friday, September 13 and to an audience of over 100 at the Houston Public Library downtown on Saturday, September 14.  At the first performance, Acting Consul-General Takahiko Watabe gave opening remarks welcoming the audience including many members of the Consular Corps and recognizing the co-presenters of the event, The Japan-America Society of Houston and The Japan Foundation.  Acting Consul-General Watabe closed by praising Katsura Sunshine for proving that Rakugo has common values which appeal to the people outside of Japan, too.    



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Acting Consul-General Takahiko Watabe               Katsura Sunshine and Chiho Kitagawa Sept. 13 Audience, Rice University
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     Lobby after the performance, Rice University
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Sept. 14 Audience, Houston Public Library