Japanese rakugo, a comic storytelling, is an art of narration.
Usually it ends with a punch line, which is called ochi, otosu, or pull down.
Kotenrakugo, or classic rakugo, has been performed since the age of Edo period when the samurai system was steadfastly established and people in various positions enjoyed a peaceful life in their own way.
Long after the establishment of Tokugawa era, the samurai system had been controlling the society, however, behind the samurai system the merchant class began to take real power in economy.
Nevertheless in the world of rakugo, a lord, samurai, craftsman, carpenter, farmer or servant is always doing something stupid - humanly stupid and funny.
It is impossible to translate these stories which can be alive only when a rakugoka, comic story teller, displays his narrating art in his unique style. Yet with help of your imagination you might get a small fun from the outline of otoshi banashi, comic stories.
The audiences enjoy the same stories again and again repeatedly which are performed by the same story teller, or different one and we compared the performance from the generation to generation.
The story starts with makura or pillow, the pillow of the story, which is usually different each time that is the performer's impromptu in the occasion or season.
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