‘Fun and Magic’ on its 40th Asean-Japan anniversary


In celebration of the 40th year of Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, a series of performances dubbed Japanese Fun and Magic: Daikagura, Wazuma and Rakugo were successfully held in Manila and Davao City for the month of June.

The Japanese performers

The Japanese performers, Tsubasa Kitami (center), Enmaru Sanyutei (second from right) and Michiyo Kagami (first from right) receive certificates of appreciation from De La Salle University

Led by the trio of Japanese traditional performers, Michiyo Kagami for Daigakura, Tsubasa Kitami for Wazuma and Enmaru Sanyutei for Rakugo, Filipino audiences were thrilled, amazed and humored during the shows.

“Daigakura,” commonly known as juggling, is a traditional and spiritual performance done to chase away evil spirits, and to attract good fortune during the Edo period. Meanwhile, “Wazuma” is a form of Japanese traditional magic from the eighth century. Finally, “Rakugo” is a traditional form of comic monologue, which reflects traditional concepts and values, which remain meaningful and entertaining to this day.

Two shows were held at Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku in Davao City, while three performances were also staged in various schools in Manila namely, Manila Japanese School, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines.

Dressed in the Japanese kimono, the performers took the center stage and showcased their expertise in juggling, magic and comical stints in front of their young and energetic audience. Selected students gamely participated in juggling and as well as in the magic tricks.

Students of the University of the Philippines

Selected Students of the University of the Philippines join the Japanese performers of ‘Fun and Magic: Daikagura, Wazuma and Rakugo’ onstage

Despite Rakugo’s performance in Japanese version, the viewers were all-ears and were keen to watch the distinct movements of the rakugoka. The show was well applauded and highly appreciated to the delight of the performers.

The Japanese Fun and Magic: Daikagura, Wazuma and Rakugo is only one of several events, which have been prepared for the yearlong celebration of the four-decade relationship between the Asean and Japan. The celebrations aim to further promote Asean-Japan relations, cultural exchanges between Japan and the Philippines, and Philippines-Japan friendship and cooperation.

The event was presented by the Embassy of Japan in Manila, The Agency for Cultural Affairs-Japan, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, Manila Japanese School, De La Salle University, and University of the Philippines.


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