2017 Special Guests : Juggling and Calligraphy



We have three very special guests with us at Japan Matsuri in 2017, coming from the world of comic theatre.

Tachibana 2 TACHIBANA Umon 橘右門 – YOSE-MOJI CALLIGRAPHER

TACHIBANA Umon is a calligrapher of Yose-moji, a form of Japanese writing used for posters and signs in the Yose theatre which hosts performances of rakugo (comic storytelling). The thick lines of the characters, with very little blank space between, represent the desire for a full house for each performance. Umon-san was appointed a Japan Cultural Envoy by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2008. Come and have your own Yose calligraphy specially written for you at the Japan House London stall.

Mimasu 1 MIMASU Monnosuke 三増紋之助 – KYOKUGOMA JUGGLER

MIMASU Monnosuke is a Kyokugoma (literally, ‘spinning tops’) performer whose art was initially a form of entertainment for the aristocracy yet gradually became popular amongst Japan’s large urban populations during the Edo period (17th – 19th centuries). Kyokugoma includes spinning tops on swords, strings, fans, and kimono. Nowadays, the skills required for making the variety of colourful spinning tops Monnosuke-san are limited to only a small number of craftsmen.

Okinaya 1 OKINAYA Wasuke翁家和助 – DAIKAGURA JUGGLER

OKINAYA Wasuke is a Daikagura performer, particularly of balancing tricks. Daikagura has its roots in the ceremonial music and dance performed in Shinto shrines. During the Edo period (17th – 19th centuries), however, these shrine rituals developed into a set of performing arts including dance, juggling, music and comic theatre. Wasuke-san regularly appears at Yose theatres, providing entertainment between rakugo acts.