Made in Japan Jokes and Punch Lines

Made in Japan Jokes and Punch Lines

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RAKUGO by Katsura Utazo

In Hanoi: Wed 24 Oct 2012, 8 pm
VOV Theater

In HCMC: Sat 27 Oct 2012, 8 pm
The Student Cultural House of HCMC

From The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange:

The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam shares the delight of welcoming Rakugo Master Katsura Utazo toVietnam to conduct his sit-down comedy on Wednesday 24 & Saturday 27 October 2012, in HCMC & Hanoi respectively.

Rakuko, literally fallen words, is a Japanese traditional verbal entertainment. A solo storyteller, sitting on the stage, equipped only with a paper fan sensu and small cloth tenugui as props, depicts long and complicated comical stories without standing up from the sitting position. As the stories are all spoken in Japanese, there have always been language barriers for foreigners to fully enjoy Rakugo performance.

However, this time, here are the exceptions. The Rakugo master, Katsura Utazo, kindly agrees to convey the funny Japanese stories with Vietnamese sub-titles. Such masterpieces of Rakugo stories as “Kinmeichiku” [Freely translated as Yotaro the Idiot], “Chotan” [lit. Long and Short] and “Shinigami” [lit. The Devil of Death] will be performed on stage.

The highlight is the story of “Shinigami” [lit. The Devil of Death] which is believed to be an adaptation of “Godfather Death” in Grimms’ Fairy Tales. You will witness how the well-known story inEurope is cleverly and funnily adapted in a unique Rakugo style.

We hope you will enjoy the “Made inJapan” jokes and punch lines through Utazo’s challenging performances.

Language: Japanese with Vietnamese sub-titles

Admission is free.

The free tickets are available in both cities from 14:00 on Friday 12 October 2012 in the following spots:

In Hanoi: The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam (27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi) [Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00 on weekdays, 09:30 – 11:30/12:30 – 18:00 on Saturdays, closed on Sundays]

In HCMC: The Office for Japanese Language Experts of the Japan Foundation (VJCC HCMC, 15 D5, Ward25, Binh Thanh District, HCMC) [Opening hours: 08:30 – 17:30 on weekdays, closed on Saturdays & Sundays]

Pu Shop (453 Huynh Van Banh Street, Ward13, Phu Nhuan District, HCMC) [Opening hours: 08:30 – 17:30 on weekdays, closed on Saturdays & Sundays]

Katsura Utazo

What is Rakugo?

Having its origin in 16th century and established during Edo era (17-18th century), Rakugo has been verbally passed down through one generation to another, from masters to apprentices as a professional art form. Performers sit on a small mattress in front of the audience and act out stories with a comic style and structure. In Rakugo, the performer can be a narrator, but usually performs the actual characters in the story. These characters converse without a narrator coming between them. The challenge for the performer is switching from one distinct character to another. Each character represents exaggerated aspects of the human personality, which we can be all readily related to. The predicaments, which they find themselves in, are part of everyday life.

Katsura Utazo (Rakugo Master, Member of Rakugo Artists Association)

Born in 1964. Katsura Utazo took his apprenticeship under Rakugo Master Katsura Utamaru in late 1991. In 1996, he took the name Katsura Utazo when he was promoted to 2nd rank of Rakugo artists. He rose to the highest Rakugo Master rank in 2005. Since then, he has been actively appearing various venues in Tokyo, and been enthusiastically sharing the fun world of Rakugo, the Japanese sit-down comedy with the Japanese audience as well as the foreign audience in Thailand, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, the US and Brazil. He also conducted his Vietnamese premier performance inHanoi in October 2010, with much acclaim. He occasionally takes the role of the presenter and/or reporter on several TV programs in Japan.

For inquiries on the performances and the interview with the performer, please contact at:

Ms. Huong (Ext. 106) / Ms. Ha Nguyen (Ext. 113) / Mr. Yoshioka (0123-384-4138)

TheJapanFoundationCenterfor Cultural Exchange inVietnam

27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam       TEL 04-3944-7419

VOV Theater
58 Quan Su, Hanoi 

The Student Cultural House of HCMC
643 Dien Bien Phu, P.1, Q.3, HCMC


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