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

Ikuko Yoshida

This is the fifth term Japanese course. 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 play 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:
Students will be able to:
①. Embrace cultural differences.
②. Analyze, hypothesize, synthesize, and reflect on the information obtained.
③. Discuss one’s thoughts and ideas in a culturally appropriate manner.
④. Present one’s understanding and thoughts cohesively and coherently.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Four terms of Japanese or permission of the instructor. Contact: IYoshida@bennington.edu.
Corequisites: CSL Series
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 5
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Japanese