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The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan
Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo

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  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108831505

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The first English monograph on Kamigata rakugo
    • First English translation of complete rakugo stories
    • Comprehensive study of Kamigata rakugo from the seventeenth century to the present day.
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    • Winner, Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research in Japanese Literature, Culture and Art, Inoue Yasushi Memorial Foundation

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Shores includes five translations of full rakugo classics from the Kamigata repertoire, providing many performance details and giving readers a better idea of what this lively, raucous art form might be like to experience live … Recommended.’ C. Lanki, Choice Connect

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108831505
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 158 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.535kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Author's Preface: COVID-19 and Tenugui Face Masks
    Part I. 1. Kamigata, Osaka
    2. The History of Kamigata Rakugo
    3. What Constitutes a Kamigata Rakugo Story?
    4. Geidan: An Interview with Hayashiya Somemaru IV (1949–)
    5. Conclusion
    Part II. 6. Five Kamigata Rakugo Classics.

  • Author

    M. W. Shores, University of Sydney
    M. W. Shores is a Lecturer of Japanese at The University of Sydney, and has been a Fellow of Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge. Shores has spent over a decade in Japan for research and apprenticeships with two of Kamigata rakugo's respected practitioners, Katsura Bunshi V and Hayashiya Somemaru IV.


    • Winner, Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research in Japanese Literature, Culture and Art, Inoue Yasushi Memorial Foundation
    • Winner, School of Languages and Cultures Early Career Researcher Prize for Best Book

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