This evening a couple of friends and I went to a Rakugo performance in Tsukishima. Rakugo, which literally translates as ‘fallen words’, is a form of theatrical entertainment, where one storyteller tells a (often comedic) tale using a couple of props (typically a cloth and a fan), impersonating many characters along the way. The evening consisted of a couple of such performances, interlaced with various musical interludes, and was set in the middle of a sake (alcohol) shop, the perfect location for a teetotaler.
For some unknown reason, as the event was drawing to a close, I was invited up to the front of the stage to introduce myself. After giving my token spiel of who I am, and what I am doing in Japan, I was asked by one member of the assembled throng ‘What I was tonight?’ Resisting the urge to respond with a ‘Well tonight Matthew…’ quip, I neatly sidestepped the question by indicating that I desperately needed the toilet. The response from the audience indicated that there might well be a future in Rakugo for me yet.