Member Book: The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo

M.W. Shores's picture

Dear friends and colleagues, 

Cambridge University Press is releasing my monograph in hardback and as an e-book on 12 August. I hope you'll order it for your libraries and perhaps your own shelves. Feel free to use the code CSWJ2021 at checkout for a 20% discount (coupon expires 30 June 2022).

Many thanks.

M.W. Shores | Lecturer in Japanese                                
The University of Sydney                           
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Languages and Cultures, Department of Japanese Studies                       

Rm 538, Brennan MacCallum Building A18 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006 
+61 2 8627 9514 | |

Publisher's Description

Rakugo, a popular form of comic storytelling, has played a major role in Japanese culture and society. Developed during the Edo (1600–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, it is still popular today, with many contemporary Japanese comedians having originally trained as rakugo artists. Rakugo is divided into two distinct strands, the Tokyo tradition and the Osaka tradition, with the latter having previously been largely overlooked. This pioneering study of the Kamigata (Osaka) rakugo tradition presents the first complete English translation of five classic rakugo stories, and offers a history of comic storytelling in Kamigata (modern Kansai, Kinki) from the seventeenth century to the present day. Considering the art in terms of gender, literature, performance, and society, this volume grounds Kamigata rakugo in its distinct cultural context and sheds light on the 'other' rakugo for students and scholars of Japanese culture and history.


List of Illustrations
Author's Preface: COVID-19 and Tenugui Face Masks
A Note on Romanization and Conventions
A Note on the Cover Art


Part I
1. Kamigata, Osaka
2. The History of Kamigata Rakugo
3. What Constitutes a Kamigata Rakugo Story?
4. Geidan: An Interview with Hayashiya Somemaru IV (1949–)

Part II 
5. Five Kamigata Rakugo Classics

Appendix 1: Selected Kamigata Rakugo Titles
Appendix 2: Kamigata Rakugoka Lineage Charts