Somemaru Reference Library 染丸資料館

Somemaru has so many books that he could open a reference library. The bulk of his books treat rakugo and kabuki, but he also has quite a few books on the history and geography of Osaka, as well as this city’s dialect and cultures. Really, since I am here in Japan to do my dissertation research, it is a dream come true. Especially this is the case with his collection of rakugo books. I can’t think of a library that has as many books on rakugo as he does.

Today we dedicated the bulk of the day to cleaning one of his Japanese-style rooms, which holds his many winter kimono, and a most of his books on rakugo and kabuki. I was excited to help because I knew I would be able to see each title as I took books off the shelves, dusted, and reorganized them on the shelves. The room looks much better now, and the books are just calling out, “read me, read me”! Aisome, Somemaru, and I worked together, and we made jokes and laughed as we worked. This was especially nice because it is the kind of thing I might do with my dad and brothers on a rainy day (like it was here today) back home in Oregon.

When we finished cleaning, Aisome and I were surprised with an early Christmas gift from Somemaru. “You two have worked hard,” he said, “go get yourself something nice for Christmas.” He then handed us money-gift envelopes. I won’t say how much I received, but it was much more than I deserved. (Thank you Shishô!)

染丸師匠の本の数が凄過ぎて、自分の資料館を開くことができるでしょう。その本の中で一番多いのは、落語と歌舞伎についての本で、大阪市の歴史、地理、方言、そしてその文化についての本も少なくありません。僕は博士論文の研究をするために来日しているので、本当に夢のようです。特に落語の本の場合はそうです。図書館でもこんな数はないように思います。

今日は師匠の和室一つを大掃除することに力を入れました。この部屋には冬の着物が山ほどあって、そして落語と歌舞伎の本も沢山おいてあります。本棚から本を取り、埃を叩き、本棚にまた整理する間に一冊一冊のタイトルを拝見することはとても楽しかったです。大掃除して、部屋もとてもすっきりしました。本たちから「私を読んで〜」と呼ばれている感じです。一緒に掃除しながら師匠と愛染さんと三人で冗談を言ったり笑ったりできたので、とても嬉しかったです。もしオレゴン州に帰っていたら、今日みたいな雨の日にお父さんと弟たちと同じようなことをしていたのでしょう。

掃除が終わると、愛染さんと僕は師匠からサプライズをいただきました。「お前らは頑張ってくれたので、クリスマスに自分にいいもの買いや」。とおっしゃいますと、ご祝儀袋を渡してくださいました。いくら入っていたかはここで言わないけど、僕には多過ぎましたねぇ。(師匠、どうもありがとうございました!)

 

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