Shofukutei Kakusho is a professional comedian trained in traditional Japanese sit-down comedy known as Rakugo. From 1984 he served a 3 year apprenticeship with Shokaku, a Rakugo master in Osaka, following a 400 year old method of teaching.
Kakusho is a highly innovative artist who on completing his apprenticeship, he breathed new life into the traditional Rakugo world by applying elements of puppetry and slapstick comedy to it.
This unique style thrust him into the top group of Japanese sit-down comedians performing in Japan as well as on the global stage, with over 2000 performances in 25 countries including Europe, US, Canada, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Japan. Most notably Kakushow has performed at international comedy festivals including the gala of "Just for Laughs", Montreal Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Comedy Festival 2003, 2004.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Kakushow was awarded the Japan Minister of Education’s Art Encouragement Prize in 2003 for his innovative, flashy, action-packed puppet Rakugo. This Encouragement Prize for New Artists is awarded to only one person in each of the 10 fields: Drama, Film, Music, Dance, Literature, Fine arts, Classical arts, Broadcasting, Popular entertainment, and Criticism.
In 2004 Kakushow was appointed as Special Cultural Advisor
by the Japanese government for the international promotion of Japanese
art and culture. He is now based in London and is performing across
the UK and Europe.
(1998 - 2004)
Oct'98 : Performed at 5 places in USA, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Jul'99 : Invited to "Just for Laughs", Montreal international comedy festival and performed at "GALA".
May'2000 : Performed all new rakugo story based on a folk tale of South Africa in Johannesburg was televised in Japan.
OCT'2000 : Due to the request of Japanese Embassy in Turkey, visited a stricken area with big earthquake to encourage sufferers.
Apr'2001 : Took part in Melbourne international comedy festival.
May'2001 : 2nd visit to Turkey.
Oct'2002 : Made a success of all-new story "Alice in Wonderplanet" at the Japanese art festival hosted by the Agency for cultural affair as a main performer in Osaka.
Nov'2002 : Joined CINARS, International Exchange for the Performing Arts in Montreal.
Nov'2002 : Invited to Al Lubel's show in Montreal as a special guest.
Mar'2003 Awarded The Art Encouragement Prize in the field of popular entertainment by the Japanese Mininter of Education
May'2003 Performed in Milan and Dublin twice each in both Japanese and English.
Jul'2003 Appointed as a "Special Advisor for Cultural Exchange" by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Japan.
Aug'2003 First participation in Edinburgh Fringe Festival(Aug 12-15). Recorded a full house for 4 straight days. The last performance was live webcasted .
Dec'2003-Jan'2004 Tour in Thailand as first mission of "Special Advisor for Cultural Exchange"
April’ 2004 Based in London and start introducing Rakugo to local schools and communities.
Aug`2004 Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival
from 7th Aug to 17th Aug.