Sankyo Yanagiya

Japan Cultural Envoy FY2016
Sankyo Yanagiya
Comic storyteller
  • Worked in the United States and Canada
  • Active Period:From February 5 to March 6, 2017
  • Birth:August 4, 1948

Sankyo Yanagiya became an apprentice of Kosan Yanagiya V in 1967, and was promoted to a master performer called Shin-uchi in 1981. As a skillful performer, he specializes in classic human-interest and funny stories. He performs on the stage of vaudeville theaters called Yose and his one-man shows throughout Japan, and nurtures his apprentices and understudies as a leading apprentice at the school of Kosan V. In addition, he organizes activities for Japanese learners to improve their expressive ability in Japanese and deepen their understanding of Japanese culture through a form of short comic story telling called kobanashi.

This is particularly true at the rakugo (comic storytelling) meetings, which has been held since 2001 for foreign students studying at the University of Tsukuba. At these meetings, he is involved at every level, even in the planning stage, to provide students with improved educational materials on expression in Japanese and Japanese culture. He has organized a rakugo performance, as well as giving guidance on kobanashi, for an intensive summer program provided by the Japanese School of Middlebury College in the United States. He has also organized and provided performances and guidance in Korea, Singapore, Czech, Hungary, France, Poland and other countries. His dedication in the field is highly esteemed by Japanese language educators both at home and abroad.

1987 Received the Grand Prix in the Shin-uchi Department of the Selected Young Vaudevillians Grand Prize, and the National Arts Festival Award of the Agency for Cultural Affairs
1994 Received the New Face Award in the Asakusa Performing Arts Grand Prize
2006 Assumed the position of Executive Director of the Rakugo Kyokai Association
2013 Received the 63rd Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize (in the popular entertainment department)
2014 Received the Japan Foundation Award, and the Encouragement Award in the Asakusa Performing Arts Grand Prize
[Website URL]
(Access to the profile page of the Rakugo Kyokai Association, where comic storytellers are introduced)