Japan has an incredibly rich history of traditional performing art forms that have lasted through the centuries. It has noh, kabuki and bunraku, all of which provide classical entertainment even if you have no idea what is happening. Another popular form of Japanese entertainment is rakugo, which involves a lone storyteller sitting on a stage, telling comical stories with only two props traditionally: a fan and a small cloth. So while the rest of the world has stand-up comedians, Japan has sit-down comedians. All of these performances though have one small problem for foreigners, though: they’re almost always in Japanese.
That’s where Showko enters the scene. A brilliant entertainer who has traveled the world with her hilarious Rakugo performances and ventriloquist acts has been taking the comedy world by storm. Learn more about some of her performances and where to see her after the jump.
Originally from Kobe, Japan, Showko (笑子 or “Laughing Child”, her stage name) has been performing around the world for over 20 years and delighting audiences with her jokes and robust personality. Originally a traffic safety officer, she practiced ventriloquism in her free time before deciding to go to an English language school in Canada for a year. She incorporated that English into her performances and has since traveled the world, performing in Singapore, the U.K., and now Australia as an entertainer. Her act features two styles of performances, a ventriloquist act with some very cheeky puppets and a wonderful bit of Rakugo.
▼ A taste of some of her acts
▼ An unsuspecting participant at her show in Tokyo
▼ Performing English Rakugo
Showko is easily recognizable by her glamorous hand-made kimono and her bright, warm smile. She has performed at a number of events at comedy clubs, junior and senior high schools, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. She refines her routine after each show to make them funnier and quirkier with every performance, so even if you’ve seen her before, you are still in for a treat at her next show.
Showko is happy to bring her unique talents to private events and is able to tailor her show for any age group. You won’t find a more Japanese form of entertainment outside of Japan, so be sure to follow her Facebook page as she is constantly adding new shows to her schedule. Those who are lucky enough to catch her performance won’t have to tell us twice how good she is, her puppet will do all the talking for you.
Top image: Facebook/showkoventriloquist