CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Years ago, Greg Robic left his home in Canada and traveled to Japan to study Rakugo – the ancient Japanese art of comedic storytelling. He spent years as an apprentice to masters of this form, and today Robic is known as Katsura Sunshine, the only foreign-born Rakugo storyteller in the world.
Earlier this summer, Sunshine left Japan to begin a North American tour that introduces the 400-year-old art form to western audiences. At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, Sunshine will arrive with his bleached blond hair and Maple Leaf-emblazoned kimono at the Austin Peay State University Mabry Concert Hall for a special performance.
The event will include stories by Rakugo master Katsura Bunshi VI, two of which Sunshine has translated into English just for this tour.
“By creating original Rakugo stories, I hoped to transcend generations and geography,” Bunshi said. “But I can’t perform in English. So I am entrusting my dream to this apprentice, Sunshine. I don’t mind if he never comes back to Japan!”
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be in English and is sponsored by the Japanese Consulate in Nashville and the APSU Asian Studies Program. For more information, contact Dr. David Rands, APSU assistant professor of history, at firstname.lastname@example.org.