Do you remember when your parents or grandparents used to tell you stories? This time might be long gone for you, but there is a person in Japan who brings the art of storytelling to the everyone by reading manga. Watch him in action 🙂

A legendary performer, Rikimaru Tōhō‘s popularity is due not to TV or radio shows (although he has participated in several minor programs recently) but to his ability to modify his voice and play the parts of the characters (men, women and children) in the stories he reads, to the emotion he puts in this storytelling, and to the warm and polite way in which he interacts with his listeners. What makes him particularly unique is that he has been able to modernize one figure that is present in many cultures: the figure of the cantastoria who passes on the traditional narrative folktales. The tales that he narrates, however, are the stories from manga — products of modern Japanese popular culture. (Source)

Further Reading:

Rikimaru Toho, the first manga narrating cantastoria (Global Voices)
Off the Page and onto the Sidewalk (A Public Space)
Rikimaru Toho (Yo! Japan)

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4 thoughts on “Manga Raconteur Narrates with Passion

  1. Actually, there’s a style of professional humorous-story-telling in Japan called rakugo. It’s been around for a couple hundred years at least. Sometimes it’s described as part of Japanese vaudeville (yose). Or you could think of it as sort of like extended monologues by a stand-up comedian, except that the comedian is sitting down. Well, kneel-sitting in the traditional seiza position, actually, but who’s counting? . . . :]

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