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Exhibition of Kodan (Vaudeville Storytelling) - From the Collection of the National Theatre of Japan

Among the yose (vaudeville) arts, such as rakugo, manzai, and rokyoku, kodan occupied a major position. From its origins in the reading of classics such as Tsurezuregusa, The Tale of the Heike, and Taiheiki, kōshaku developed in the middle of the Edo period to present historical events and people in an easy-to-understand manner.

From the late Edo period to the Meiji period, the genre became more entertaining, and the word "kodan (storytelling)" became more appropriate than "kōshaku (lecture)". The stories began to deal with events and people of the same period, such as family riots and avenging crimes by feudal lords, which made it popular.

The popularity of kodan had a great influence not only on other yose arts, but also on Kabuki and novels of the same period. Many of Sanyutei Encho's sentimental rakugo stories and Kawatake Mokuami's works in Kabuki are closely connected to kodan. Also, as the name of the publishing company Kodansha is derived from kodan, many of the so-called popular novels of the modern era are based on kodan plays.

In this exhibition, we will display items related to kodan from the collection of the National Theatre of Japan and look back at the flow of kodan.

Exhibition supervisor: Kentaro Imaoka (Professor, Musashino Art University)

Dates December 1 (Wed) , 2021 - March 21 (Mon), 2022
Hours 10:00-17:00
Closed 12/21・22, 24-31, 2021, 1/1, 8-10, 21-31, 2/22・24・25・28, 2022
Venue National Engei Hall・Exhibition room
Admission Free
Visitor restriction Up to 8 people
Supervised by Kentaro Imaoka (Professor, Musashino Art University)