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 desperate playah-wannabe next door, whose spying through the peephole gets him in deep doo-doo.

In this story, a nice old fisherman is visited by a beautiful ghost, but the douchebag 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.

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. Her fourth book – Painted Doll – is just out in paperback 

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