Fri, Jan 29 | Zoom

JASCO/OSU IJS Online Event: Rakugo with Yanagiya Tōzaburō

Come and join us for an evening of exposure to one of Japan’s classical forms of entertainment.
Registration is Closed
JASCO/OSU IJS Online Event: Rakugo with Yanagiya Tōzaburō

Time & Location

Jan 29, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM EST

About the Event

Yanagiya Tōzaburō returns to Columbus for a virtual performance! Rakugo (落語) is a traditional Japanese form of solo storytelling in a style similar to “stand-up” comedy but performed entirely in a kneeling position seated on a zabuton cushion. With only a folding paper fan and a folded handkerchief as props, rakugo storytellers rely on eye movements, facial expressions, and body language to help convey their stories. Tōzaburo is a master rakugo performer with the shin’uchi title. His performance will include Japanese storytelling with English subtitles and English storytelling, followed by Q&A. Come and join us for an evening of exposure to one of Japan’s classical forms of entertainment.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Yanagiya Tōzaburō became a disciple of master rakugo performer Yanagiya Gontarō III (三代目柳家権太楼)in 1999 after dropping out from Nihon University in Tokyo. In 2014 he attained the rakugo master’s rank of Shin’uchi, which enabled him to have his own disciples. At that time he officially became Yanagiya Tōzaburō III (三代目柳家東三楼) as the third successor to this classic rakugo master’s stage name. He has since performed at many yose (i.e., storytellers’ hall) and other theaters all over Japan, and has appeared on many TV programs including the popular Shōten (笑点) rakugo show. He has also performed abroad, including appearances at many college campuses across the U.S. and Canada. He is living in Queens, NY, dedicating himself to introducing rakugo all around the world and transforming 落語 to RAKUGO.

Tōzaburō excels in the classic rakugo stories such as “Ikuyo Mochi” (幾代餅), a love tale set in the Edo period; “Meguro no Sanma” (目黒の秋刀魚), a comedy about a Shogun’s misunderstanding; and “Toki Soba” (時蕎麦), depicting a silly man trying to cheat a soba noodle vendor. Tōzaburō is ambitious in expanding the scope and horizon of rakugo by adapting rakugo stories into stage plays and vice versa. For example, Tōzaburō created a rakugo version of “The Darling” in celebration of Anton Chekhov’s 150th anniversary. Tōzaburō was awarded the Agency for Cultural Affairs Arts Festival Newcomer Prize in 2016. Currently, Tōzaburō is completing his first novel about his late father, rakugo, and theater.

Free and Open to the Public

If you require an accommodation, such as live captioning, to participate in this event, please contact Stephanie Metzger at or 614-247-4725. Requests made at least two weeks in advance of the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

This event is co-sponsored by the OSU Institute for Japanese Studies, which is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.

Registration is Closed

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