Shijaku Katsura

Shijaku Katsura

nihongo|Shijaku Katsura|桂枝雀|Katsura Shijaku (August 13, 1939-April 19, 1999) was a Japanese rakugo performer of the late 20th century, who often performed in English. He was born nihongo|Tōru Maeda|前田達|Maeda Tōru in Kobe, the son of a brick-maker. [ [ Katsura Shijaku "Der Schreiber" ] ] In 1960 he entered the tutelage of the rakugo performer nihongo|Beichō Katsura III|桂米朝, and upon completion of his study, was given the stage name nihongo|Koyone Katsura X|桂小米. [ [ Katsura Shijaku "Der Schreiber" ] ] He changed his stage name to Shijaku Katsura (Shijaku Katsura II) [The first Shijaku Katsura lived 1862-1928.] in 1974. Katsura's more well-known rakugo stories include nihongo|Manju kowai|まんじゅこわい, nihongo|Atagoyama|愛宕山, nihongo|Toki udon|時うどん, and nihongo|Yadoyagataki|宿屋仇. [ [ "Katsura Shijaku" on the Japanese Wikipedia] ]

Katsura studied English in the early 1980s, and gave his first English-language rakugo performance in 1983. [Perkins, p. 329.] For the rest of his career, he often performed rakugo in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, making an otherwise inaccessible form of comedy accessible for non-Japanese speakers.

Katsura's students include equally famous rakugo performers such as Jakujaku Katsura. [ [ "Katsura Shijaku" on the Japanese Wikipedia] ] He also assisted in launching the career of Bill Crowley, the first non-Japanese professional rakugo performer. [ [ Features - Bill Crowley: Rakugo Diplomat ] ]

Katsura died of heart failure on April 19, 1999, after a failed suicide attempt at his home in Suita, Osaka. [ [ Comic Storyteller Katsura Dies - AP Online - HighBeam Research ] ] He was survived by his wife Eyo and his brother, the magician Takeshi Maeda.



*imdb name|1178690
* [ Shijaku Katsura obituary] (accessed 21 December 2007)
* [ "Katsura Shijaku" on the Japanese Wikipedia] (accessed 21 December 2007)
* [ "Der Schreiber" (German translation of one of Katsura's rakugo, including a short biography)] (accessed 21 December 2007)
*"Sushi and Sake" [ interview] with Bill Crowley. (accessed 21 December 2007)
*Perkins, Dorothy (1991). "Encyclopedia of Japan: Japanese History and Culture, from Abacus to Zori". n.p.: Facts on File.

Further reading

Works in Japanese
*Katsura, Shijaku (1996). "Katsura Shijaku no rakugo-annai". Tokyo: Chikuma-shobo.
*Ueda, Fumiyo (2003). "Warawasete warawasete Katsura Shijaku". Tokyo: Tankōsha.

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