All About Japan

Laugh Your Way to Linguistic Enlightenment

Learning Japanese Comedy

While it's entitled "Introduction to Rakugo," what Canadian rakugo sensation Katsura Sunshine has actually prepared here is a brilliant breakdown of some of the key quibbles of the Japanese language.

Of course, there's simple wordplay like accidentally asking the taxi driver to do something other than "let you off." But Sunshine really catches fire as he begins to compare Japanese words that might be easily confused—or might be intentionally suggesting subliminal links that we should all really know about. More importantly, he goes over the levels of politeness common to Japanese, a concept so ingrained that the language even has different verbs depending on how much you want to raise your partner's status or lower your own. Sunshine's explanation of yoroshiku is not only incisive, but educationally hilarious!

Then stick around to the end for a classic, "shaggy dog"-style rakugo story!