Recordings of Kamigata Rakugo from the Early Showa Period
Following the public lecture it offered last year, the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage offered another public lecture on materials in the Institute’s collection. The lecture sought to inform the broader general public of the existence of materials that the Department had assembled for research purposes.The lecture discussed long-playing records (LPs) from Nitto Records (the Nitto Gramophone Company). Nitto Records was a record label established in Osaka, and the company sold LPs in the early Showa period (the late 1920s). The LPs recorded sound in a different format than that used in typical records, hampering the ability of present-day listeners to listen to the LPs.Nitto Records’ LPs feature KATSURA Harudanji the first [note: multiple generations of rakugo (Japanese comic storytelling) performers often adopt stage names derived from their master’s name, hence “the first”,“the second,” etc.], TACHIBANAYA Kakitsu the second, and SHOFUKUTEI Shikaku the second (SHOFUKUTEI Shokaku the fifth), who were rakugo performers typical of the pre-war Kamigata style (from Osaka and surrounding areas). Some of the performances by these performers are found only on Nitto Records’ LPs,and the recorded performances are very interesting in terms of their execution. During the 8th public lecture,attendees took whatever time was available to listen to excellent performances of Kamigata rakugo from the early Showa period.