Hardback, 1990, Harvard University Press. Hardback, in very good condition throughout.
After the disruptions of World War II, and the immediate post-war period, Japan has seen a resurgence of rakugoStorytelling. There are now about 260 performers (hanashika) in Tokyo and 130 in Osaka-Kyoto.
Morioka and Sasaki provide a complete picture of this humorous genre, including translations of representative stories in which a single performer brings to life, through conventional gestures and characteristic speech, the interactions of various Japanese styles. The work traces the origins if rakugoback to the Buddhist tales of the 8th and 9th Centuries and describes changes through the years that eventuated in a refined art of stage performance om the mid-19th Century.
The rakugotheatre (yose), its stage, and theatrical properties, the training of the hanashika, profiles of some eminent professionals, and the motifs that inform the repertoire of rakugostories are all described in detail and made vivid through copious illustration. Appended to the text are lists of the main hanashika houses, the rakugo text collections published since mid-Meiji, the titles of individual rakugo pieces and an exhaustive annotated bibliography.