Now and Zen Japan

Katsura Sunshine: Master Rakugo Storyteller

August 08, 2020 Andrew Hankinson Episode 18
Now and Zen Japan
Katsura Sunshine: Master Rakugo Storyteller
Chapters
Now and Zen Japan
Katsura Sunshine: Master Rakugo Storyteller
Aug 08, 2020 Episode 18
Andrew Hankinson

This episode I sit down with Katsura Sunshine, the only Western Rakugo Master Storyteller in the world and only the 2nd in the history of traditional Japanese Rakugo. He shares his fascinating journey from Canadian playwright and musical producer to Master Japanese Rakugo Storyteller.  We dive into the details of his three-year apprenticeship, the hardships and rewards. How he became an international Rakugo ambassador not only on Off-Broadway but around the world. Toward the end of the podcast we even get to hear a short traditional Rakugo story translated into English. Other topics we discuss: 

  • The genius story behind why his Master made him bleach his hair blond
  • Why he does not localize the traditional Rakugo stories when presenting in English
  • How he got his first big break to internationalize Rakugo
  • The differences between stand-up comedy and Rakugo
  • Indentured servitude for three years and menial jobs is part of the apprenticeship
  • The real meaning and purpose behind the apprenticeship
  • How he convinced his Master to take him as an apprentice
  • New Yorkers reaction when seeing him in kimono in public
  • Rakugo stories are very family friendly, but there is an "adult" version as well

gugu Sleep Company: https://gugu.jp
Katsura Shinshine's Website: https://www.rakugo.lol

Show Notes

This episode I sit down with Katsura Sunshine, the only Western Rakugo Master Storyteller in the world and only the 2nd in the history of traditional Japanese Rakugo. He shares his fascinating journey from Canadian playwright and musical producer to Master Japanese Rakugo Storyteller.  We dive into the details of his three-year apprenticeship, the hardships and rewards. How he became an international Rakugo ambassador not only on Off-Broadway but around the world. Toward the end of the podcast we even get to hear a short traditional Rakugo story translated into English. Other topics we discuss: 

  • The genius story behind why his Master made him bleach his hair blond
  • Why he does not localize the traditional Rakugo stories when presenting in English
  • How he got his first big break to internationalize Rakugo
  • The differences between stand-up comedy and Rakugo
  • Indentured servitude for three years and menial jobs is part of the apprenticeship
  • The real meaning and purpose behind the apprenticeship
  • How he convinced his Master to take him as an apprentice
  • New Yorkers reaction when seeing him in kimono in public
  • Rakugo stories are very family friendly, but there is an "adult" version as well

gugu Sleep Company: https://gugu.jp
Katsura Shinshine's Website: https://www.rakugo.lol