The National Engei Hall in Tokyo is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with a free exhibition until late July of the hall's history of engei entertainment.
Engei are traditional stage and performing arts. The most commonly known of these is rakugo, featuring a storyteller seated alone on a cushion on stage telling comic stories. Another popular engei is manzai, a stand-up comedy act that sees two performers trading tit-for-tat verbal jousts with each other at one or the other's expense. More obscure engei include kodan storytelling where the orator uses a clapper for rhythm, kijutsu sleight-of-hand magic shows and kyokugei entertainment acrobatics, often with props.
Please check the official website for opening times and holidays. Entry is free.
The hall is a 5-minute walk from Exit 1 and Exit 6 of Hanzomon Station on the Hanzomon Subway Line or a 15-minute walk from Yotsuya Station on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line.
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