Katsura Sunshine - Rakugo


On Tuesday, November 8, the Embassy of Japan was pleased to host Katsura Sunshine for a performance of traditional Japanese comic storytelling known as Rakugo.

Minister Yawata made opening remarks to start the event and commented that by adapting Rakugo to the English language, Sunshine is taking part in a cultural exchange that has been a cornerstone of Canada-Japan relations.

A native of Toronto, Sunshine is Japan’s only foreign professional Rakugo storyteller. In 2008 he was accepted as an apprentice to the great Rakugo Master, Katsura Sanshi, and received the name Katsura Sunshine.

Accompanying Sunshine was Ms. Chiho Kitagawa, a lecturer at Kobe University. She is currently completing her PhD in Discourse Analysis in Rakugo at the Kobe City University of Foreign Studies. Ms. Kitagawa introduced Sunshine and helped to explain the art of Rakugo to the audience.

Sunshine performed two stories in English: The Zoo, one of the most popular traditional Rakugo stories, and an original story by his master, Katsura Sanshi.

The Embassy of Japan received an overwhelming response to this event which resulted in a full house at the Embassy of Japan auditorium. The audience seemed to greatly enjoy the event as there was much laughter, and after the show many people stayed to meet Sunshine.


From left: Minister Yawata, Katsura Sunshine, Ms. Chiho Kitagawa

Minister Yawata giving opening remarks

Ms. Chiho Kitagawa

Katsura Sunshine

Guests awaiting the show

Guests enjoying the show