Rakugo and Humor: The Art of Storytelling (JPN4505.01)

Ikuko Yoshida

Rakugo is one of the 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 storytellers narrate and plays various characters by changing their 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 rakugo performances and write their own rakugo scripts to perform. Intermediate Level. Conducted in Japanese.


Learning Outcomes:
①. Embrace cultural differences.
②. Analyze, hypothesize, synthesize, and reflect on obtained information and discuss their thoughts and ideas in a culturally appropriate manner.
③. Present their understanding and thoughts cohesively and coherently.


Delivery Method: Hybrid
Prerequisites: Four terms of Japanese or permission of the instructor (email iyoshida@bennington.edu).
Corequisites: CSL Series
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Japanese , Hybrid
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