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Katsura Sunshine, the king of kimono comedy will have you laughing till your sides ache!



Katsura Sunshine is one of a kind, the first foreigner to train in rakugo, the 400-year-old Japanese comic storytelling art, and now he's bringing this laugh-filled tradition to the rest of the world, including JapanFest this year.

 

Each show is two parts, a comedic monologue of his own material, much like the stand-up comedy you love, and then Sunshine's performance of age-old Japanese storytelling with his own special presentation.

 

Sunshine is currently in his 5th year of performing Rakugo in New York on Broadway, to great critical acclaim:

 

“A Master Storyteller!”~The New York Times

“The King of Kimono Comedy!”~Reuters

“There is only one Sunshine!”~The New Yorker

 

 Sunshine spends his time between Tokyo, London and New York but this year he's taking time to make his JapanFest debut and laughter is going to be rocking the Gas South Center.



What is rakugo

Rakugo originated in Japan more than 400 years ago, and its stories have been passed down from master to apprentice orally through the centuries.

 

To become a professional rakugo storyteller, an aspiring comedian must fulfill and three- to four-year apprenticeship which resembles indentured servitude. 

 

In his apprenticeship, Sunshine went to his master's home every morning and did laundry, cleaned, carried bags, folded kimonos, and watched and learned in the way that every Japanese apprentice has done for hundreds of years.




Who is Katsura Sunshine?

He was born in Toronto and holds Canadian and Slovenian citizenship.​

In 2008 he was accepted by the great rakugo master Katsura Bunshi VI, who gave the young Canadian the name Katsura Sunshine.

Sunshine became Katsura's 15 apprentice and was the first ever Western rakugo-ka in the Kamigata tradition (Osaka / Kyoto) and only the second in Japanese history, preceded by Kairakute Burakku a hundred years before.

A worldwide phenomenon

Sunshine has toured around five continents, performing in three languages (Japanese, English and French) and is in his 5th year performing in New York.


*Subject to change

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