- About Sunshine
- Katsura Sunshine was born in Toronto, Ontario, to parents of Slovenian origin. He studied classics at the University of Toronto, where he got his first introduction to the works of the Ancient Greek comic playwright, Aristophanes, under the renowned scholar of ancient comedy, Eric Csapo. He became involved in translating, adapting, and performing in versions of Aristophanes’ comedies for the Department of Classics.
In September, 1995, his version of Aristophanes’ “Clouds” opened at the Poor Alex Theatre in Toronto, and, buoyed by almost universally positive reviews, ran for 15 months before embarking on a tour of central and eastern Canada.
Sunshine went to Japan in 1999 to pursue studies in Noh and Kabuki Theatre, while working as an instructor of English Language at the prestigious Daigakushorin International Language Academy. He continued to write and produce musical theatre during this period.
On September 1st , 2008, Sunshine was accepted as an apprentice to the great Rakugo storytelling Master, Katsura Bunshi VI (then named Katsura Sanshi), and subsequently received the name Katsura Sunshine. In the Rakugo tradition, he received both his master’s last name and part of the first (his master, Sanshi combined the first part of his name, “San”, meaning “Three”, with the Japanese word for “Shine”, and gave it the Japanese pronunciation of the English word “Sunshine”).
Sunshine received his professional debut in Singapore the following year, and completed his three-year Rakugo apprenticeship in November, 2012.
Sunshine is the first ever Western Rakugo storyteller in the history of the “Kamigata” Rakugo tradition, based in Osaka, and only the second ever in the history of Japan.
Sunshine has performed in Singapore, the United States and Canada, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Paris, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Thailand, Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, South Africa, as well as throughout Japan. He currently divides his time between London and Tokyo.
Sunshine has been appointed Cultural Ambassador for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and Friendship Ambassador for Japan and the Republic of Slovenia. He is also Artist in Residence at The Forge Venue in Camden, London.