Japan has a great many traditional performing arts. The narrative arts, called katarigei, are especially numerous and continue to evolve as multilayered art forms based on the foundations of earlier genres. Even in our visually oriented times, performing arts that require listening skills and imagination are being handed down in various ways and continue to thrive. They include Noh, fushidan sekkyo (Buddhist story-telling sermons), sekkyo-saimon (sermon ballads), kodan (storytelling), gidayu bushi (bunraku narrative), rakugo (comic storytelling) and rokyoku (story recitation accompanied by shamisen). We will invite leading performers as well as writers and researchers in the types of katarigei being performed today. First we will hear superb katarigei performances; then we will learn about each performing art from a historical perspective–how it emerged from a specific environment, what its unique characteristics are, who presented it and who came to hear it. The experts will shed light on the identity of each genre and provide insights on the training of performers and the ways in which the arts are carried on by successive generations. Over the course of the program’s eleven sessions, we aim to provide a broad perspective on the underpinnings of Japan’s “narrative” and to think about the future of the narrative arts.
Nanafuku Tamagawa began her training with Fukutaro Tamagawa II in July 1995, and made her stage debut as a rokyoku storyteller in August of the same year. She debuted as a rokyokushi (traditional storyteller) in November 2001. She produced the rokyoku events Tamagawa Fukutaro no Tettei Tenpo Suikoden (5 episodes) in 2004 and Tamagawa Fukutaro no Rokyoku Eiyu Retsuden in 2005. Nanafuku Tamagawa continues to produce a variety of rokyoku events and carries out wide-ranging collaborations with other performing arts and musical genres including Noh, gidayu, opera, Korean pansori, kodan and rakugo. She has performed such masterpieces of classical rokyoku as Tenpo Suikoden, Kaneisanbajutsu, Akogishiden, and Shimizu no Jirochoden. She also performs brilliant new rokyoku works including Kingyo Mugen, Rokyoku Cinderella (both her own compositions), Naniwabushi Sarasa (from a work by Iruru Masaoka), Higan Senningiri no Onna (from a work by Nobuo Ozawa) and Kare to Kozaru Shichinosuke (from a work by Matsutaro Kawaguchi).
Camellia Hall, Camellia Plaza（Koto City, Tokyo）