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April 04, 2003

Laughing it Up at ECC

Popular rakugo performer Kaishi Katsura is to teach a class in the traditional comic storytelling art in English at the ECC conversation school in Osaka. In rakugo, a performer dressed in a kimono sits and tells stories, with a folding fan and towel as the only props. It tends to be popular with the older generation. At 34, Katsura is young for a 'rakugoka' and has been something of a pioneer in his promotion of rakugo in English since 1998 (unfortunately, his Web site is only in Japanese). His 5-month course at the school in Umeda will be divided into five classes for beginners and five for intermediates and cost a total of ¥58,000, including admission and textbook fees. Students are required to have junior high-school level English.

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