Regarding Eric Johnston’s Sept. 1 article, ” ‘Rakugo’ pro crosses borders with humor“: Having enjoyed English rakugo more than 20 years ago, I was surprised to see no mention of Shijaku Katsura, who performed English Rakugo both in Japan and overseas. Katsura actually helped to launch the career of Bill Crowley and taught many others in the Katsura “family,” including perhaps Kaishi Katsura.
I had the pleasure of meeting Shijaku backstage after one of his performances; he was so friendly to everyone. I was truly saddened to hear of his death in 1999. I still have scripts of the shows I attended, a few of which I had proofread for the show’s organizers. I also have several of his DVDs, as my wife and children share in my admiration of his skill and unique style.
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