Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Past, Present, and Future


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The flow of time and its influence on everyday life has been a constant theme throughout Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. As Yakumo narrated his life story, dealing with the complexities of his relationships, and the problems that faced rakugo during the pre, and post-war years, we as the audience saw how quickly things can change, and how easily the past can be forgotten. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Fleeting Memories


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As with all tragic stories, whether they are written by Euripides, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Marlowe, or a more modern story like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, the main character’s actions are either directly, or indirectly related to the eventual tragic events that transpire. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Rediscovering The Power of Stories


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This week’s episode continued exploring a number of similar themes from last week, as it looked at the importance of memory, and the power that the past can hold over an individual. It is also an episode that touches upon a number of rather interesting themes regarding the importance of family, and the slow collapse of rural Japan during the post-war period. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Memories of the Past


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The past exerts a tremendous force on the characters in Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, it pulls at them incessantly, reminding them of past slights, problems that they have desperately tried to overcome, while raking up memories that they would have preferred left buried. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Seasons of Change


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Last week I discussed the importance of tradition to Japanese arts like rakugo, it is something that connects them to their past, and informs their approach to the present and future. Tradition is also an integral part of these arts, and can be found in their very character – the way of teaching, types of stories, even specific movements, and introductions – many stories, or plays have specific kata or forms that have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years, unchanging, and unique. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Questioning Tradition


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Tradition is an essential aspect of traditional Japanese entertainment, with various forms, poems, stories, and even movements, or ‘kata’ passed down from generation to generation, sometimes for centuries. One of the most extreme examples of this tradition can be found in Kabuki, where particular forms and movements have gone unchanged for centuries, and the best Kabuki actors are distinguished by the small, individual flourishes that they add to the basic kata, flourishes that often only the most experienced viewer may notice. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – A Change in the Wind


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Much of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu has been about following Kikuhiko as he struggles with his feelings for rakugo, feelings that are complicated by his past, and the existence of Sukeroku, a seemingly untouchable rakugo apprentice. He is an uncertain character, one who continuously questions his own choices, and whether he is even capable of truly telling food rakugo. This contrasts with the absolute certainty of Sukeroku, an individual who never practices, and yet continuously produces exceptional performances that have the audience rolling with laughter. Read more of this post