Volunteer Spirit, Shôfukutei Kakushô ボランティアスピリッツ、笑福亭鶴笑

Shôfukutei Kakushô (photo property of Machida Kezai Shinbun)I’ve met Shôfukutei Kakushô a couple of times in the dressing room at the Hanjôtei. He has always struck me as a man with a special spirit. A special energy. The last time I saw him he was just about to leave for a performance in Iraq!

The other day I read this Sankei News article about him (my translation).

Puppet Rakugoka Shôkufutei Kakushô Talk, “Enjoy Life” (Jinsei o tanoshinde)

Hyôgo

May 24, 2013

 On May 23, Shôfukutei Kakushô (53), a rakugoka who uses puppets to perform “puppet rakugo,” gave a talk titled “It is never to late to start doing something.” His audience consisted of approximately 300 administrators and parents affiliated with the city’s kindergarten.

Kakushô is the progenitor of “puppet rakugo.” He has traveled to some 80 cities in 30 countries, including Iraq. He has also volunteered at more than 100 welfare institutions in various Japanese prefectures.

At his talk, he told the audience about his decision at age 40 to move abroad with his family as he underwent artistic training [shûgyô]. “Both my wife–who was going through a bit of depression–and elementary-school-age daughter made some amazing changes,” said Kakushô. “Life can be fun when you change your environs. I’d love for all parents to be able to come out of their shell and raise their children with upbeat enthusiasm.”

Shôfukutei Kakushô (photo property of yoshimoto.news.laff.jp)Kakushô also performed puppet rakugo and “Nanjing bead curtain” [Nankin tamasudare †] bits and had the audience rolling with laughter multiple times. Following this he called out once more to the crowd, proclaiming “It’s never to late to start something new! You can do anything! Please, have a fun life!

Kakushô-san, thank you so much for your beautiful spirit and your wide-ranging volunteerism!

Nankin tamasudare is a traditional street performance in which the performer transforms a specially-made bamboo screen into various shapes while chanting an accompanying poem.

2、3回ほど繁昌亭の楽屋で笑福亭鶴笑さんに会いました。いつもとても印象的で、彼のスピリッツは特別。エネルギーがとにかくすごいです。最後に会ったのは、イラク口演に出発される直前でした。

先日、鶴笑さんについて、下の記事を産経ニュースで読みました。

パペット落語家・笑福亭鶴笑さん講演 「人生を楽しんで」 

兵庫

2013.5.24 02:02

 人形を使った「パペット落語」を持ち芸に活動している落語家、笑福亭鶴笑さん(53)が23日、神戸市総合教育センター(中央区)で同市立幼稚園の園長や保護者ら約300人を前に「何かを始めるのに、遅すぎることはない」と題した講演会を行った。

鶴笑さんは、人形を使って落語を演じる「パペット落語」の生みの親。イラクなど世界30カ国80都市以上で公演するほか、県内などの福祉施設100カ所以上を巡るボランティア活動も行っている。

講演会で鶴笑さんは、40歳の時に、修行のため家族とともに海外へ移住したときのエピソードなどを紹介。「日本でふさぎがちだった妻と小学生の娘が生き生きと変わっていった。環境が変わればまた楽しい。殻に閉じこもらず、前向きに子育てをしてほしい」などと語った。

また、パペット落語や南京玉すだれなどの芸を披露して、何度も会場の爆笑を誘った後、「何かを始めるのに遅いことはないし、何でもできる。ぜひ楽しんで人生を送って」と呼びかけた。

鶴笑さん、素敵なスピリッツとたくさんのボランティア活動も、本当にどうもありがとうございます!

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