Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2022

Academic Department

Modern Languages

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Nobuaki Takahashi




This presentation examines foreigners’ interest in Japanese Traditional Arts and explores how globalization has affected them, by specifically focusing on Rakugo, one of the performing art forms centered around storytelling with more than 300 years of history.

In Japan, there are many traditional performing arts, such as Kabuki and Noh that Japanese people hold dear to their hearts and give them pride as people. These arts are still popular among the masses till this day as they began to modernize to appeal to new audiences. For a long time, they have been performed exclusively by Japanese natives and have not been very open to foreign nationals. In recent years, however, there has been a noticeable trend of foreigners showing great interest in these art forms and coming to Japan to learn them while immersing themselves into the culture.

This trend can be explained by the notion of cultural globalization, which refers to spreading ideas and values with those outside of one’s country. Due to this type of globalization, this study argues that the traditional performing art masters have become more inclusive to accept foreigners as apprentices to learn their country’s culture.

By researching the art of Rakugo, and from first-hand experiences obtained by interviewing with current Japanese Rakugo masters, this study outlines the history of Rakugo and how globalization has affected Japan, concluding with a positive light for foreigners being able to become part of Japan’s culture, and its impact in the future for Japanese Traditional Arts.


Scholarship and Creative Arts Day (SCAD); JA 496; JA 497