Sunday and Sake no kasu 日曜と酒の粕

This morning my walk to the station was cold and quiet, but the sun was shining brightly and it was beautiful Sunday morning. It is bônenkai (year-end party [lit. “forget-the-year party”]) season in Japan, and, come to think of it, everybody seemed to be out on the town last night. After a long night of drinking to “forget the year” everybody must have still been fast asleep and warm in their beds as I made my way to Somemaru’s house with four mackerel.

I cleaned house as usual and spent the afternoon with Somemaru at home. We printed out a few hundred nengajô (New Year’s postcards) and watched a DVD. We took a walk to the store to pick up groceries for dinner, which was kasu-jiru (soup made with sake lee stock). While making dinner Somemaru told me I should learn the story “Sake no kasu,” so he recited the story line by line, and I repeated it back to him. Since this story is about a buffoon who gets drunk by eating a couple large trays of sake lees, I had to try some for myself. It’s not the kind of thing you want to eat two trays of… But a guy going this far to get drunk is the kind of thing that makes rakugo funny!

今朝、駅までの散歩は寒くて静かでした。しかし、お日さんが明るく輝いていて、素敵な日曜の朝でした。今は忘年会の季節で、考えたら、夕べものすごい人数が街に遊びに出ていました。「年を忘れる」ために飲んでいた長い夜の後、僕が師匠の家にさんま4匹を持って向かっていたときに皆は温かいベッドに寝転んでいたのでしょう。

普段通りの家事をしてから午後まで師匠と一緒に家に居ました。年賀状300枚くらいをプリントアウトしながらDVDを見ました。夜食(鰤の粕汁)の材料をスーパーまで歩いて買いに行って、料理している間に師匠が「『酒の粕』という噺を覚えたらいい」と言ってくださいました。そのまま、台所で師匠が噺の1行1行をおっしゃって、僕がそれを繰り返しました。『酒の粕』は酒の粕大きい二枚を食べて酔っぱらうアホについての噺なので、僕も、せっかくだったから、酒の粕を食べてみないといけなかったです。二枚も食べたくなるような味ではなかったなぁ… でも、こう言うことをする人物がいるからこそ、落語が面白い!

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