Rakugo: Art of Storytelling (JPN4505.01)

Ikuko Yoshida

Rakugo is a traditional Japanese art and storytelling entertainment which became extremely popular during the Edo period (1603-1868). Rakugo is a rather unique storytelling performance because a storyteller sits on a seat on the stage called “kooza” and tells humorous stories without standing up from the seat. Moreover, the storyteller narrates and plays various characters by changing his voice, pitch, tone, facial expressions, physical movements, etc.

In this course students will 1) research the history and the essential elements of rakugo, 2) examine several rakugo scripts to learn new grammar points and kanji characters, and 3) analyze how speech patterns change based on age, social status, gender, occasions, and situations. They will also examine cultural elements that are reflected in the rakugo scripts. As a part of the course, students will practice and perform rakugo stories and write their own rakugo scripts to perform. Intermediate Level. Conducted in Japanese.

Prerequisites: Four terms of Japanese or permission of the instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM-5:20PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Japanese
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