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 – Blinded by Perfection


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Up until now, Shouwa Genrku Rakugo Shinjuu has largely focussed on the early Shouwa period, a period that saw Japan shift towards an authoritarian, and nationalist regime. It also represents a period where Japan was simultaneously an industrialised, and modern country, while also maintaining a direct link to the more traditional past, with dirt roads, and classical architecture in abundance through the last two episodes. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – The Captivated Audience


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To be successful, rakugo must captivate the audience, taking them to a time and place that has long since passed, and one that often deals with mannerisms, etiquette, and social issues that are largely irrelevant to modern society. The majority of these stories are set in the Edo period, and are therefore bound up in older traditions, ones that may well be passed on in other art forms such as kabuki, noh, and tea ceremony, but have long since disappeared from everyday life. As such, central to a rakugo performance is the ability of the rakugo-ka to successfully conjure up these periods, twisting space and transporting the audience into his world. Read more of this post