There’s an elementary school in Shîba village, Miyazaki prefecture, which has less than 10 students. Because there are so few students in attendance and they do not have regular opportunities to speak in front of large groups, they take a rakugo class to be able to practice speaking in front of others. In fact, this class has been a part of the school’s curriculum for some 24 years.
In the feature, students could be seen working hard at repeating the lines of rakugo stories. They were so adorable. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy performing rakugo. It turns out that some students perform rakugo at national children’s rakugo competitions.
Students even have the luxury of receiving one-on-one training from professional rakugoka three times a year. In the feature, Tokyo rakugoka Shunpûtei Ryûnosuke could be seen giving formal sit-down lessons (suwari-geiko) to children. He was sweating and quite hard on them.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there has been a rakugo class at this school for 24 years.
To the students in Shîba village: keep up the great work!