Rakugo: Performing Comedy and Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Tokyo

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Lexington Books, 2008 - Art - 257 pages
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An introduction to the theatrical art of comic storytelling that originated in the Edo period, Rakugo sheds light on Japanese culture as a whole: its aesthetics, social relations, and learning styles. Enriched with personal anecdotes, Rakugo explicates the art's contemporary performance culture: the image, training, and techniques of the storytellers; the venues where they perform; and the role of the audience in sustaining the art. Lorie Brau inquires into how this comic art form participates in the discourse of heritage, serving as a symbol of the Edo culture, while continuing to appeal to Japanese today. Rakugo is an accessible book appropriate for all levels of students, and will be of great interest to scholars of Asian studies and performing arts. Book jacket.
 

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Contents

Ethnographer as MummyHunter
11
A Night at the Yose
25
What Makes Rakugo Rakugo?
45
Wits Outlaws Flatterers and Antiquarians
77
Rehearsing Tradition Zenza Apprenticeship and the Hanashika Career
109
Rakugo in Traditional and Alternative Performance Contexts
155
Making a Hit with Classical Rakugo
185
Rakugo Audiences and Fans
201
Tokyo Rakugo and Heritage
223
Glossary of Select Terms
231
Works Cited
237
Index
245
About the Author
257
Copyright

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Page 4 - intangible cultural heritage' means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith - that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history,...
Page 4 - Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage...
Page 4 - According to article 1 clause 1, the intangible cultural heritage comprises: "...the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith - that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
Page 4 - While it looks old, heritage is actually something new. Heritage is a mode of cultural production in the present that has recourse to the past.

About the author (2008)

Lorie Brau is assistant professor of Japanese in the department of foreign languages and literatures at the University of New Mexico.

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