Program for Colleges, Festivals, and Theaters

The Most Valuable Doggone (Storytelling Festival) Orator for me was Motoko, and endearing Japanese storyteller…
She effortlessly captures and keeps a whole crowd’s attention, blending her quiet speaking voice with blunt American colloquialisms for emphasis and humor.
New Haven Advocate

Tales of Now & Zen

Inside every American, there is a Japanese woman. You are lucky that we are so small!! --- Motoko

Award-winning storyteller Motoko captivates audiences as she exquisitely blends ancient lore and original tales with traditional music and eloquent physical characterization. Her tales are at once comical and wise, earthly and sublime. Through her tales we journey beyond our imagination and return more whole.

Tales of Now & Zen is a travel itinerary to places as strange and exotic as ancient China and the interior of our own heart. Motoko brings us to long ago and far away, then leads us back to ourselves in this moment, as each of her characters reveal their intentions and desires. We learn why a grandmother is strong, why a child is wise, why a warrior is frightened.

It is an excursion like no other.

A 60 minute performance may include, but is not limited to:

Kang Ding Love Story---a Chinese fairy tale about a woman torn between love and family obligations.

Hekoki Nyobo---a hilarious Japanese tale of very earthly nature.

Japanese Culture 101: The Art of Bowing---a comical view on Japanese manners

Cost of Racism---a funny yet heartfelt monologue about raising a son in the U.S.

Boundless Strength---a wisdom tale about sumo wrestling

The Girl in the Mirror---a mime piece about puberty. A favorite of teenage audiences!

Heaven and Hell---a famous Zen fable told in original rhyme, written specially for Motoko by Eshu Bumpus.

Workshops and coaching are also available for beginning storytellers. (Read more)

Click Here for Motoko's Homepage