On Saturday, Sept. 29, and Monday, Oct. 1, UF will sponsor two traditional Japanese oral tradition performances, known in Japanese as rakugo, by Showto. Admission is free.
The Sept. 29 performance will be from 7-8 p.m. at the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St., Pemberville, and the Oct. 1 performance will be from 7-8 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union North Multi-Purpose Room on Findlay’s campus.
Showto performs rakugo in both English and Japanese. He has appeared on stage in New Zealand, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and other locations.
Rakugo is traditional Japanese verbal entertainment. A storyteller, the rakugoka, kneels on a cushion at the center of the stage and depicts a comical story. The rakugoka plays the role of at least two characters by changing his voice, tone, facial expressions, mannerisms, speech and positioning. In addition, the rakugoka uses props to aid in storytelling.
Rakugo was performed as early as the end of the 17th century. Historically, rakugokas are male.