SAN FRANCISCO — English Rakugo, Japanese traditional storytelling featuring Kanariya Eiraku and company, will be coming to the Bay Area next month.

Dates and locations are as follows:

Kanariya Eiraku
Kanariya Eiraku

• Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at San Mateo Japanese American Community Center, 415 S. Claremont St., San Mateo. Limited seating. RSVP by Aug. 5 to (650) 343-2793 or

• Thursday, Aug. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco. RSVP to (415) 567-5505 or

Rakugo is a 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling. A minimalistic performance art, it features a lone storyteller dressed in a kimono, kneeling on a cushion, while using only a fan and hand towel for props, entertains the audience with various types of stories such as comedy and horror.

Kanariya Eiraku, from Tokyo, performs rakugo in English for international organizations such as JICA and at foreign embassies and educational institutions, from elementary schools to colleges. He believes rakugo is quite beneficial in life and English rakugo will help people acquire the English language, develop a sense of humor, and improve presentation skills.

Free admission. These appearances are supported by Hokkai Nichibeikai (Japanese American Association of Northern California), Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, and Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco.

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