Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center, in partnership with the Embassy of Japan, the UP Center for International Studies, and the English Rakugo Association hosted a production of “Rakugo in English” on 23 November 2023, Thursday, 6:00 PM, at the GT-Toyota Auditorium, Asian Center, Diliman.
A form of traditional Japanese storytelling enjoyed since the 17th century, the performance featured the talented members of the English Rakugo Association, a performing arts group known for its collaborations with embassies and various international Japanese associations. With a mission to bring the art of Rakugo to a global audience, the Association's skilled artists delivered performances in the English language. Their repertoire not only served as an exchange between different cultures but also cultivated the audience's appreciation of Japanese storytelling.


   1.   Instructions - delivered by Kanariya Inichirin (Uehara Masako)
       The performer provided instructions to the audience on how the storytellers transition from one
        character to another through hand gestures and facial expressions.
   2.   Jugemu - performed by Kanariya Panda (Nagashima Noriko)
       This classic performance told the story of a boy with an unusual name which would cause some
       problems throughout his life.
   3.   Tamasudare - performed by Kanariya Inichirin (Uehara Masako)
       In this engaging performance, the storyteller used a bamboo mat to form shapes reminiscent of objects
       found in nature and those familiar to both Japanese and Filipino cultures. 
4.   Yasubeigitsune - performed by Kanariya Kappa (Terada Takuro)
       Kanariya Kappa told the story of a kitsune (trickster fox) who attempts to outwit a human in a series of humorous and absurd situations.
5.   Ramen Stand - performed by Kanariya Inichirin (Uehara Masako)
       This performance showed the life of a childless husband and wife who own a ramen stand and their strange encounter with a young man.

Through wit and humor, students, faculty, and members of the UP Diliman community were captivated by Rakugo as a unique art form. Rakugo in English was graced by UP Diliman Chancellor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II who delivered the welcome remarks and reinforced the commitment of UP Diliman in supporting the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Japan. Director Matsuda Shigehiro and Researcher/Adviser Ms. Mukaigawa Yurie of the Japan Information and Culture Center also joined the celebration.
This event was part of the celebration of the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation initiated by the Embassy of Japan and coincided with the 68th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the UP Asian Center.


    For inquiries, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 891-8500 loc. 3586.
    The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.