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Fishing For Women

Of all the rakugo performances I’ve seen, Fishing For Women is my fave. It’s got great characters, including a guy who’s more of a nightmare than the worst Tinder story you’ve ever heard!


The kind old fisherman who hooks a skull and prays for the repose of the poor person's soul.
The kind old fisherman who hooks a skull and prays for the repose of the unfortunate soul.
The desperate player-wannabe next door, whose spying through the peephole got him in deep doo-doo.
The attractiveness-challenged young guy next door, whose spying through the peephole gets him in deep trouble.

In this story, a nice old fisherman is visited by a beautiful ghost, but the dateless wonder next door has other ideas…

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And then…! If you watch the video, you can enjoy Ootomo-san switching between characters in typical rakugo style.

This art is centuries old, but the stories are as funny today as they were in samurai times. Nothing like it really exists outside of Japan, and it’s rarely performed in English, so hey, take advantage! Here’s the video – watch it live!


Performed in English by Hiroyuki Ootomo (19:15)

If you liked Fishing For Women, (or want to try a shorter one first, to see if you like it) check out Ootomo-san’s other rakugo performances in English!

Ghost Woman Returns (5:36)

The Unobservant Husband (13:20)

Too Much Religious Devotion (5:31)

Drunk Under The Cherry Blossoms (4:52)

The Water Vendor’s Fortune (7:11)

The next time you’re in Japan, if you’d like to watch Ootomo-san perform live, you can contact him at Ootomo-san speaks and reads English, and is happy to arrange a performance at a particular time and place.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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