Showko Comedy

Rakugo Workshops

Expand your cultural horizons with a workshop into Rakugo, a 400 year old Japanese 🇯🇵 comedy storytelling art form. A rare opportunity for you to learn from Showko - The only professionally trained Japanese Rakugo performer currently working outside of Japan in Melbourne.

A Rakugo story is told by a performer who has to act out a story by themselves with only two humble props, a folding fan (Sensu) and hand towel (Tenugui). They must be able play the role of each distinct character by changing personality, facial expression, mannerisms, speech, etc. Due to the simple structure they can express and describe anything, drawing the viewer into the story through their imagination.
This updated and condensed 2 hour workshop provides clear skills and techniques that you can implement immediately and covers the very fundamental structure of Rakugo:

“The workshops were so much fun and very engaging! It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of the aspects of Rakugo.”

What you will learn:
• Introduction and history of Rakugo
• Introduction to Rakugo stories and jokes
• How to perform short Rakugo stories
• Movements & techniques
• Rules of performing
• Overcoming stage fright
• Lots of interaction and participation
• Q & A
• Including scripts
• All in English

These two items are needed for the workshop:
1. Folding Fan (Any type or a pen)
2. Tenugui or Handkerchief or Bandana
If you want professional Rakugo props, folding fan (Sensu) and hand towel (Tenugui) – Made in Japan
You can purchase them here:

Perfect for:
➤Learning Rakugo stories and techniques
➤Learning a new form of Storytelling
➤Using Rakugo for language teaching
➤Learning new theatre or acting skills
➤Entertaining people
➤Those who love comedy
➤Those who love Japan
➤Also recommended for Storytellers, Teachers, Students, Performing Artists and Actors.

Showko Showfukutei trained as a Rakugo performer under Master Kakushow in London receiving the 400 year old traditional name Showko Showfukutei upon completion. She is one of 1500 Rakugo performers, only a handful of women and the only one living overseas.

Showko is a member of the Kamigata Rakugo Association and regularly goes back to Japan to perform at the Hanjyo-tei Rakugo Theatre in Osaka where only professional Rakugo performers can perform. Showko’s style of Rakugo is very animated with lots of actions and facial expressions so that any age groups seeing Rakugo for the first time can understand and enjoy Rakugo humour.

Showko performs Traditional Rakugo, personal life story Rakugo and Ventriloquist Rakugo. 

The Mill – Adelaide Fringe Masterclass: Rakugo Masterclass held at the Mill during the Adelaide Fringe where Showko was chosen over many applicants to run this unique workshop.

Osaka Temma Tenjin Hanjyo-Tei Rakugo Theatre (Exterior view above. Interior view below

Why Speak Japanese? Event Monash University, Melbourne

What is Rakugo?

RAKUGO ~Japanese Sit Down Comedy~

Rakugo is a form of entertainment best described as Japanese sit-down comedy or comic story telling. During a show the Rakugo performer sits on a small pillow dressed in a kimono and acts out the whole story by themselves equipped with only a fan (Sensu) and hand towel (Tenugui) to help convey ideas.

A Rakugo story is told through the conversations between characters, therefore, the performer must be able play the role of each distinct character by changing personality, facial expression, mannerisms, speech, etc.. In most cases the characters have strong stereotypical personalities and characteristics so that as the performer switches from one character to another the audience readily detects the change.

To be a professional Rakugo performer you have to ask a Rakugo master to become their protégé and only a person who can complete training for 3 years can be accepted as a Professional Rakugo performer.

Puppet Rakugo

Puppet Rakugo is an award winning form of Rakugo developed by Showko’s master, Kakushow. Only the three members within Kakushow Showfukutei’s Rakugo family are allowed to use this style. Puppet Rakugo is suitable for all ages.

Showko’s own unique version of Puppet Rakugo is called Ventriloquist Rakugo as it incorporates her specialist ventriloquist skills.


“The workshops were so much fun and very engaging! It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of the aspects of Rakugo. e.g. behind the scenes of Rakugo shows, Rakugo techniques, Rakugo history, etc. ” 
Japanese Teacher, Victoria, Australia
“Thank you so much for such an enjoyable workshop! It was so interesting to hear about the history of Rakugo and to watch your stories and to learn about how to perform them. I feel like I learned a lot and appreciated very much how complex it is to create a Rakugo performance! It was a wonderful experience and I’m very glad I was able to take part in it.”
Participant, Australia
“I enjoyed the lessons tremendously! Thank you for making this art form so accessible for us.”
Multicultural Storyteller, Singapore
“To enhance my skills as a storyteller I’ve been attending a Rakugo workshop by professional Rakugo performer, Showko Showfukutei. 
Absolutely loved it!!! I’ve learned so much from this Rakugo workshop. Showko is not only a fabulous performer but a wonderful and patient teacher too. I’m so glad to join this workshop. I highly recommend it to my friends.”
Storyteller, India
“As a Japanese teacher I found this very useful. I will use Rakugo to assist in teaching Japanese to my students.”
Japanese Teacher, Queensland
“Very informative. Great to have both theory and practical. The class setting allowed for more questions, hands-on practice and detailed information.”
Participant, Sydney
“Wonderful. Excellent information, history and demonstration. I learnt a lot – especially participating in the short story performances.”
Participant, Sydney
“By learning from a totally different art form and culture it has opened my mind to see my performance from a different perspective. I highly recommend it.”
Actor, USA
“I had many questions about Rakugo but after I took the Rakugo Workshop I didn’t have any questions! It was very fun and I learned so much!”
Theater Student, Egypt