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The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Reviews of The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan:

  • In this well-researched introduction to its history, texts and performance practice, Shores successfully demonstrates that Kamigata rakugo is a Japanese cultural treasure in its own right, and in no way a lesser ‘second-city’ version of Edo rakugo. (Lorie Brau, University of New Mexico, Theatre Research International)
  • … a rich account of a particularly interesting element of Japanese entertainment. … recommended not only for rakugo researchers and enthusiasts but also for Japanese studies researchers with an interest in the history of entertainment in Japan. (Simon Regin Paxton, Komazawa University, Asian Ethnography)
  • Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. Shores bases this volume on an immense amount of research… details the history… largely about the literary content of the stories… providing many performance details. (C. Lanki, University of British Columbia, CHOICE vol. 59 issue 10).


Everybody’s Comfier with a Good Pillow: Rakugo‘s Makura Prologues.” Asian Theatre Journal 38, no. 2 (fall 2021).

Using Yoshikono and War to Save Rakugo in Osaka.Japan Forum 30, no. 3: 394-420 (2018).

Jippensha Ikku, Hizakurige, and Comic Storytelling.” Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal 20: 46-75 (2012).

Travel and Tabibanashi in the Early Modern Period: Forming Japanese Geographic Identity.” Asian Theatre Journal 25, no. 1: 101-121 (spring 2008).


“The Makura of Rakugo: Tradition and Modernity” in Humour in Asian Cultures: Tradition and Context. Edited by Jessica Milner Davis (Taylor & Francis, 2022).

Rakugos Negotiation of Militarism during the World War II Years” in Defamiliarizing Japan’s Asia-Pacific War. Edited by W. Puck Brecher and Michael Myers (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2019).

“Mishima Yukio (1925-1970)” in Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History. Edited by Howard Chiang (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2019).

“Spotlight – Popular Arts: Rakugo and Misemono” in A History of Japanese Theatre. Edited by Jonah Salz (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

“Laughter After Wars: Rakugo Under the American Occupation” in Rising from the Flames: The Rebirth of Theatre in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952. Edited by Samuel L. Leiter (Lexington Books, 2009).

Some of my publications can be downloaded in full or in part here.