Shijaku Katsura II
Katsura Shijaku II (2代目 桂 枝雀, Nidaime Katsura Shijaku, August 13, 1939 – April 19, 1999) was a Japanese rakugo performer of the late 20th century, who often performed in English. He was born Tōru Maeda (前田 達, Maeda Tōru) in Kobe, the son of a brick-maker. In 1960 he entered the tutelage of the rakugo performer Katsura Beichō III (桂米朝), and upon completion of his study, was given the stage name Katsura Koyone X (桂小米). He changed his stage name to Shijaku Katsura (Shijaku Katsura II) in 1974.
Katsura studied English in the early 1980s, and gave his first English-language rakugo performance in 1983. For the rest of his career, he often performed rakugo in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, making an otherwise inaccessible form of comedy accessible for non-Japanese speakers.
- Shijaku Katsura II on IMDb
- Shijaku Katsura obituary (accessed 21 December 2007)
- "Der Schreiber" (German translation of one of Katsura's rakugo, including a short biography) (accessed 21 December 2007)
- "Sushi and Sake" interview with Bill Crowley. (accessed 21 December 2007)
- Perkins, Dorothy (1991). Encyclopedia of Japan: Japanese History and Culture, from Abacus to Zori. n.p.: Facts on File.
Works in Japanese
- Katsura, Shijaku (1996). Katsura Shijaku no rakugo-annai. Tokyo: Chikuma-shobo.
- Ueda, Fumiyo (2003). Warawasete warawasete Katsura Shijaku. Tokyo: Tankōsha.