Katsura Kichibô 桂吉坊さん

Until August 12 I will be taking part in the 27th Traditional Theater Training program at the Kyoto Art Center. There are three courses of specialization, noh, kyogen, and Nihon buyô, all of which are led by professional artists. I am in the kyogen group.

The first two days of the program consist of a series of demonstrations, lectures, tours, and workshops. These are to help give participants a taste of those traditional arts they won’t be experiencing in their selected courses, and to see how they may be related to their areas of specialization.

The program will culminate with a recital, to be held on August 12, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:00), at the Ôe Noh Theater (Ôe nôgaku dô). Admission is FREE, and reservations are not necessary.

I was happy to learn that rakugo was going to be part of the initial two-day series. The center arranged for a young hanashika, Katsura Kichibô, to give a demonstration and workshop. Since I study rakugo, I was asked to do the interpreting.

I knew of Kichibô, but never had the chance to meet him. It was a treat to finally meet him today. He is a very kind, and professional person, who I would like to introduce here.

I translated the following for the Kyoto Art Center program:

11:00-13:00: Rakugo Demonstration & Workshop, with Katsura Kichibô

Rakugo is a traditional Japanese narrative art form that came into being during the early modern era and was passed down to the present day via oral transmission. In this unique performance art, gestures and narration alone are incorporated, and a high level of artistry is required. Katsura Kichibô’s repertoire consists chiefly of traditional rakugo stories. He is therefore a young storyteller who many consider to be the hope for Kamigata Rakugo’s future. Today, following a demonstration of the art, Kichibô-sensei will lead a workshop on rakugo gesticulation and more.

Shortly after graduation from the Entertainment and Culture Division at Osaka Higashi Sumiyoshi High School, Kichibô-sensei began a formal apprenticeship with rakugo storyteller Katsura Kitchô, on January 10, 1999. A proud member of the Katsura Beichô artistic family, Kichibô-sensei is also undergoing formal training in the arts of drum(s), flute(s), shamisen, and nagauta. He is knowledgeable about numerous forms of traditional entertainment such as kabuki, noh, and bunraku. This can be observed in his rakugo, especially his skillfully narrated kabuki-inspired stories. Kichibô-sensei is currently studying noh (chanting and kotsuzumi drum) privately, and is frequently called on to serve as master of ceremonies at Noh-related functions.

I am looking forward to listening to Kichibô perform in the near future, and hope you can make it too. Kichibô has a great official website, complete with information about upcoming performances. Click here → Kichi Box







11:00~13:00: 落語のデモンストレーションとワークショップ 桂吉坊



これからも吉坊さんの高座を聴かしていただける日をとても楽しみしています。皆さん、ぜひ、一緒に聴きに行きましょう。ところで、吉坊さんがとてもおしゃれな公式サイトを持ち、あそこに出演情報のリンクもあります。こちらへどうぞ → Kichi Box


4 thoughts on “Katsura Kichibô 桂吉坊さん

    • Yeah, but this young man has been at it for quite a while. Quite an impressive person from my point of view. Apparently he is also one of few who continue the tradition of Nishiki-e kagei, which he learned from his late master, Kitchou (吉朝).

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