articleTttleImage NAMBA 難波(en)
Osaka's comedy culture and the NGK neighborhood

Since the opening of the Dotonbori River in 1615, Osaka has developed an entertainment district from the Dotonbori area to Namba.

During the Edo period, there were many playhouses and large theaters, and it prospered as a major theater town. Kabuki and Ningyo Joruri were performed in a Japanese version of Broadway.


Currently, “Osaka Shochikuza” in Dotonbori hosts Kabuki, Shochiku Shinkigeki, revues, musicals, plays and concerts. In addition, at “Dotonbori ZAZA”, live comedy is performed by up and coming young comedians.


An essential part of Osaka’s culture is the culture of laughter.

From the late Meiji period to the Taisho period (1912-1926), there were two rakugo (comic storytelling) vaudeville theaters in the area north of Hozenji Yokocho, which triggered a huge rakugo boom. At that time, Taizo and Sei Yoshimoto, a who ran a theater in Tenma, bought the two theaters and took over the theaters in Minami. The popularity shifted from “Rakugo” to a new form of entertainment, “Manzai.

Then, after World War II, the theaters turned into Namba Kagetsu and Namba Grand Kagetsu (NGK).

A comedy hall of fame, NGK is where many comedians, young and veteran, take the stage and make customers laugh every day. You can enjoy rakugo, manzai, comic storytelling, Yoshimoto Shinkigeki, and many other exciting programs on different days. Check out the performance schedule for more information!


Namba Grand Kagetsu


In addition, there are several theaters in the NGK neighborhood.

In the YES NAMBA building across from NGK, you’ll find the “Yoshimoto Manzai Theater” where young Yoshimoto comedians perform, and you can see live performances by the next generation of comedians up close.


Yoshimoto Manzai Theater


Idol culture is also thriving!

“NMB48 Theater” is in the basement, where performances by the idol group NMB48 are held.


On the 7th floor of the building, is the Osaka Prefectural Kamigata Performing Arts Museum “Wach Kamigata”.

You can read about the history and see exhibits related to the Kamigata performing arts such as rakugo, comedy, storytelling, and rokyoku.


Wahha Kamigata


Please enjoy comedy in Minami, the center of comedy culture!


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