Welcome to Motoko’s homepage!

A New Program!

Radiant Poster  

Motoko premiered her first multimedia performance, “RADIANT: Stories from Fukushima" at the 2016 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. (More info)


New Program for Colleges, Museums, and Japanese Gardens

Interested in cultural entertainment programming that deepens your students’ and patrons’ appreciation of Asian arts?

Two acclaimed Japanese women performers join forces to offer an evening filled with humor, charm, and elegance. Award-winning storyteller Motoko shares hilarious and poignant tales from Rakugo, a storytelling tradition that originated in the 17th century. She is accompanied by virtuoso Masayo Ishigure playing the three-stringed shamisen. Together they transport you to the enchanting world of popular entertainment in Old Japan.

What is Rakugo?

View our youtube promo



Motoko’s Latest CD!

Each time I listen to IN GHOSTLY JAPAN the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention and my entire body tingles with delicious fright!

---Barbara Aliprantis, storyteller

To purchase - click here

Get ready for a BIG CHILL! Motoko’s smashing success as a Featured Ghost Story Teller at the 2011 National Storytelling Festival led her to create a new CD full of dark and mysterious tales from ancient Japan. It includes her rendition of Lafcadio Hearn’s classics such as “The Corpse Rider” and “The Death Grip,” sublimely accompanied with traditional and modern instruments. (Read more.)

Motoko also offers a new workshop for adult story lovers at festivals and conferences titled, OGRES, DEMONS, AND JEALOUS SPIRITS: INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE GHOST TALES.


The BOOK is here!

Year in Japan

The long-awaited Second Edition of A Year in Japan: Folktales, Songs and Art for the Classroom is finally available!

Expanded from the 1st Edition, the book includes:

  • New stories
  • New art projects
  • New CD including all songs in Japanese and English
  • New section with updated information on elementary schools in Japan
    For more information and sample pages, click here.
    For order information, click here.

The combination of skill, talent and ability to translate emotion to motion created entertaining and exciting imagery. Motoko puts the audience on an emotional roller coaster. She takes you up, down, upside down and lets you off feeling exhilarated and charged up…Her show was a winner.
Massachusetts Daily COLLEGIAN

Parents’ Choice Award-winning storyteller Motoko enchants audiences of every age with her weaving of ancient lore, original tales, lyrical movement and traditional music. Her repertoire includes Asian folktales, Zen tales, comical tales from rakugo (a Japanese traditional style of storytelling), funny mime vignettes, as well as personal stories from her childhood in Japan and her life as an immigrant in the U.S. Motoko also offers K-12 classroom workshops and residencies on Japanese culture, creative writing, and storytelling. Her one woman mime program, “The Girl in the Mirror: Mime for Teens” addresses issues relevant to the lives of middle and high school students. She can also be booked together with her partner Eshu Bumpus, a nationally-known storyteller of African folktales.