Kabuki at Colorado College コロラドカレッジの歌舞伎

The Medicine Peddler, directed by Laurence KominzI have been in a city called Colorado Springs since the end of January. I am here to assist with a production of the kabuki play The Medicine Peddler (Uirô uri) at Colorado College. My role is music director. I am also playing shamisen and singing ozatsuma in the show.

Colorado College students have been a great pleasure to work with. They are remarkably talented and are fast learners. I am working especially closely with four students who–in addition to playing important acting roles in the show–will provide the live music for the production. They will play key instruments such as bell, flute, drums, wooden clappers, etc. They have been doing a terrific job in rehearsals and will be sure to wow audiences at our upcoming shows on February 8, 9, and 1o.

In addition to kabuki, there will be other presentations on the program such as buyô dances, a tribute to Ichikawa Danjûrô XII (1946-2013) by Dr. Laurence Kominz, and rakugo by yours truly. If you can make it to Colorado Springs, please come to the show! The students will surely be enjoyable to watch!

If you cannot make it to Colorado College for the show, please watch the Monday show live(!) online at: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/live.

Show dates and times (Mountain Standard Time)

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday, February 9, 2014, 2 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Monday, February 10, 2014, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (STREAMED LIVE, MST)


Richard F. Celeste Theatre
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave. (map)


FREE and suitable for ALL AGES!

See you there!

The Medicine Peddler, directed by Laurence Kominz (2)1月末からコロラド州のコロラド・スプリングズという町に来ております。ここにコロラドカレッジという大学があって、英語歌舞伎の「外郎売り」の演出を手伝わせていただいています。僕が囃子音楽(鳴り物)を学生さんに教え、三味線と大薩摩もさせていただいています。



コロラドカレッジまで来れない方は、月曜日の公演はライブストリーミング放送で見えるので、ぜひご覧くださいませ。リンクはこちらです。→ http://www.coloradocollege.edu/live.

ショーの日にちと時間 (アメリカの山地時、MST)



2月10日(月)13時〜15時(ライブストリーミング放送、日本時間 11日(火)の午前5時


Richard F. Celeste Theatre
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave. (地図)




Yuuyake Shimbun 夕焼け新聞

Yuuyake Shimbun, September 2013Eri Luman of the Portland-based Yuuyake Shimbun (The Sunset Newspaper) recently interviewed me and published a nice article titled “Gambaru Nihon- America-jin” (Hard-working Japanese Americans).

Yuuyake Shimbun article by Eri Luman, September 2013

Thank you Ms. Luman, and Yuuyake Shimbun!



This Weekend’s Challenge 今週末のチャレンジ

slide_004The WORLD BEAT FESTIVAL, Oregon’s largest multi-cultural festival, will take place this weekend in Salem. Some 30,000 attendees are expected to turn out, and I am thrilled to be on the long list of performers.

Since last year I have been fortunate to have numerous opportunities to perform rakugo in English around Oregon. This Saturday, I will have a new challenge: performing three stories in a single day. I will have two 45-minute sets and a 30-minute set, on three different stages.

For professional hanashika, three stories in a day may not be such a big deal, but for an amateur like myself it will be quite the challenge. Still, I feel lucky and grateful to have such an opportunity to share rakugo with so many people.

Since I perform outside of Japan, and typically for the purpose of education, my makura always have to have substantial “Intro to Rakugo” bits. No matter how basic intros may be, they are always enjoyable. I’ve learned good ways to do these by listening to others who perform English rakugo in and out of Japan, and I’ve come up with some of my own material.

World Beat Japan focus performersWORLD BEAT FESTIVAL will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday June 29, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday June 30, in Salem’s Riverfront Park.

My performances will all be on Saturday: 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. on the Asia-Pacific stage; 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on the Showcase stage; and 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. on the Cultural Center stage.

Admission is free, though a $5 donation per person will be suggested at the gate. For more information visit www.WorldBeatFestival.org or call 503-581-2004.

I hope to see you there!

World Beat Festival 2013オレゴン州の最大多文化祭りである「ワールド・ビート・フェスティバル」は今週末、オレゴン州の州都セーレム市で行われます。参加者は3万人ほど予想されていますが、多くの出演者の中で僕も演らせていただくので、とても楽しみにしています。





僕の高座は全席土曜日に演らせていただきます。時間は、アジアパシフィックの舞台で12時半〜13時、ショーケースの舞台で16時半〜17:15、カルチャーセンターの舞台で18時〜18:45分 です。

入場は無料ですが、寄付金の推奨額は一人5ドルです。詳しくは www.WorldBeatFestival.org 、または503-581-2004にお電話くださいませ。


Students Make Teachers 生徒が先生を育てる

Curtain call 6.6.2013

In his book Kamigata rakugo wa doko e yuku (Where Will Kamigata Rakugo Go?), Katsura Fukudanji (1940-) writes that “it takes at least three days to prepare for a rakugo show.” Three days…  I suppose this is one of the things that separates professionals from amateurs.

Yobikoe (kyôgen)It took my students and I about seven weeks to prepare for our recent show, Drama! Dance! Drums! Granted, for most, it was their first time doing anything on stage, let alone Japanese performing arts. There were many firsts for me too. Still, we were able to bring everything together and give the audience a fast-paced and entertaining show.

My students made me very proud.

Dojô sukuiAnd they taught me a great deal about being a teacher. They asked terrific questions throughout the term that pushed me to be better informed about Japanese drama and music.

I hope my students learned as much as I did in the course of the term.

Great work everyone (otsukaresama deshita)!

Previous article → Show This Week

Rakugo 6.6.2013「上方落語はどこへ行く」という本の中に桂福団治師匠 (1940-) が、「ひとつの会をするのに、三日はかかる…」と書きました。三日…  これはプロの素人の違いの一つでしょうね。



Komai (Kaminari)それに、「先生」という役割について色々と気づかせてくれました。毎日とてもいい質問を聞いたり、日本の演劇や音楽などについてもうちょっと説明できるように考えさせてくれました。



先の記事を読む→ いよいよ今週

nihon.buyo2 Karakasa (kouta)Shibiri (kyôgen) ShishimaiNoh-butoh fusion Nihon buyôManzai Taiko

Show This Week いよいよ今週!

Vanguard article by Megan Fresh, May 30, 2013The Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University will present a show co-directed by Prof. Wynn Kiyama and myself, featuring a talented group of students in a grand showcase of Japanese performing arts.

Our students have worked very hard this term and are just about ready to go on! The show — DRAMA! DANCE! DRUMS! — is this week, and it is going to be a good one!

The show will include the following:

  • Komai (kyôgen dance)
  • Kouta (“little songs” with shamisen accompaniment)
  • Kyôgen (medieval farce)
  • Manzai (two-person stand-up comedy)
  • Nihon buyô (traditional dance)
  • Nô & butô dance fusion (a mix of medieval and modern)
  • Rakugo
  • Taiko (group drumming)

Drama! Dance! Drums! is on Thursday June 6, 2013 in the Recital Hall (rm. 75) at PSU’s Lincoln Hall. The show starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. FREE and open to the public.

We are getting great press for the show, and seats are limited. Be sure to arrive a little early for a memorable evening of Japanese performing arts!

Read the next article → Students Make Teachers


今学期、生徒さんはお稽古など一生懸命頑張り、舞台に出る準備はほとんどオーケーです。ショーは「演劇!踊!太鼓!」(DRAMA! DANCE! DRUMS!) と言いまして、とても楽しい一時となると思います。


  • 小舞
  • 小唄
  • 狂言
  • 漫才
  • 日本舞踊
  • 能と舞踏のフュージョン
  • 落語
  • 組太鼓


Drama! Dance! Drums! は2013年6月6日(木)の午後7時30分に開演いたします。会場はポートランド州立大学のキャンパス内にあるリンカーンホールの中のリサイタルホール(75号室)です。入場無料。


続きはこちら→ 「生徒が先生を育てる」

Drama Dance Drums flyer

Flyer チラシ