Comic Shinoharu Tatekawa hopes to win over some new fans this month when he performs a rakugo set in English.

The 39-year-old knows firsthand that even locals who are unfamiliar with the traditional Japanese form of comedy can find it a bit old-fashioned. Unlike many of his peers who grew up admiring it, Tatekawa didn't start getting into rakugo until he was an adult.

"I thought rakugo was for old people," he says. "I had very low expectations."