2022.07.29
News

Edo Era Amusements: Rakugo Comic Storytelling and the Oyama Pilgrimage

 During the Edo period, Mt. Oyama in Kanagawa Prefecture was one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Japan, attracting as many as 200,000 pilgrims every July during a short summer pilgrimage season. The Oyama pilgrimage was part of the lively culture of tradespeople in Edo (present-day Tokyo) and figures prominently in the popular literature, woodblock prints and rakugo comic-storytelling of the time.

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 On June 25 (Reiwa 4) the Center of Global Research Initiatives, in collaboration with the Center for Global Engagement, hosted the world premiere of the “Oyama Pilgrimage” rakugo—a classical piece translated into English and brilliantly performed by Mr. Tateyama Shinoharu (shinoharu.com). The rakugo performance was preceded by an introductory lecture on rakugo as a traditional Japanese art (by Carmen Tamas), and an explanation of the historical and cultural background of the Oyama Pilgrimage by Mrs. Alice Gordenker.

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The event was attended by over 80 onsite guests, as well as professors from our partner universities in Romania (online).

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