Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Rakugo (literally fallen words") is a Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller (rakugoka) sits on the stage, called the KÅ za. Using only a paper fan "sensu") and a small cloth ("tenugui") as props, and without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical story. The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters, the difference between the characters depicted only through change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head. Rakugo was originally known as karukuchi. The oldest appearance of the kanji which refers specifically to this type of performance dates back to 1787, but at the time the characters themselves were normally read as otoshibanashi (falling discourse)."
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