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Thursday, May 12, 2016

NHK WORLD TV Announces U.S. Filming of "Dive into UKIYO-E" TV Series To Salute Japan's Fascinating Edo Era, a Period of New Wealth Celebrating the Arts, Eating and a Sensuous Lifestyle

NHK WORLD TV Announces U.S. Filming of "Dive into UKIYO-E" TV Series To Salute Japan's Fascinating Edo Era, a Period of New Wealth Celebrating the Arts, Eating and a Sensuous Lifestyle

Katsura Sunshine, Acclaimed Rakugo Performer, Sheds Light on the Lush Life in Edo with NYC and Washington Performances

NEW YORK, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- NHK WORLD TV brings to life one of Japan's richest and most sensuous periods in history with "Dive into UKIYO-E," a series which pays tribute to the 200+ year Edo period when wealth was quickly accumulated, and its urban culture (in what is present-day Tokyo) was dominated by a deep love for the arts. Edo's distinctive artwork pays homage to the culture, lifestyle and teeming society of samurai, artists, chefs, merchants and inhabitants. In particular, its traditional woodblock prints called Ukiyo-e flourished during the Edo period in the 18th-19th century and served as cameras, portraying with intricacy and precision every aspect of Edo life, from Kabuki theater to courtesans parading in the ornate fashions of the day.

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints were considered a form of entertainment for the masses, and each print was as affordable as a bowl of noodles. These prints were created in collaboration with master artisans - the Eshi or painter, Horishi or carver and Surishi or printer - colorfully depicting in detail the manners and customs of the Edo era. During the same era, another form of entertainment called Rakugo was popular among the commoners. It featured characters in conversation and ends in a punchline. In the TV series, the program will dive into the world of Ukiyo-e, exploring one of the most well-preserved collections of prints, courtesy of the Spaulding Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and presented in Rakugo-style storytelling by Katsura Sunshine.

Filming took place May 11 at New York City's Japan Society (333 East 47th Street) and is followed with a second performance at Washington, D.C.'s Japan Information and Cultural Center, Embassy of Japan (2520 Massachusetts Ave NW) on Tuesday, May 17. The series will broadcast via NHK WORLD TV U.S. partner stations from June and will also be available through the live streaming service on NHK WORLD's website ( and on NHK WORLD app.


Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints are valued as one of Japan's most recognizable cultural symbols, and have influenced artists like Vincent van Gogh, making a significant impact on the history of world art.

NHK WORLD TV's "Dive into UKIYO-E" series, with Rakugo storyteller Katsura Sunshine as the series' presenter, features a fun Rakugo-style presentation of Ukiyo-e prints focusing on its details reflecting the Edo-ites lives and thinking.


The first eight episodes in the series were produced and recorded in Japan. In aims of taking it even closer to its overseas audience, NHK WORLD holds its next recordings in the US.

The Rakugo performance show will be a one-man show by Katsura Sunshine. It will be comprised of Rakugo storytelling in English and "Dive into UKIYO-E" presentation for recording. This show will be recorded and edited into eight episodes of the "Dive into UKIYO-E" series, each of which are eight to nine minutes in duration.

The stage will be equipped with a large-sized monitor that will show the audience the details highlighted in Katsura Sunshine's presentation.

About Katsura Sunshine


About Japan International Broadcasting, Inc.

For more information, images, video, interviews or access to live recording in Washington, D.C., please contact: Heidi Raker, RGPR, or 212-863-4108, 201-681-5878



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