Some Rakugo and Religion 落語と宗教について少し

Today Aisome had the day off, so it was just me at Somemaru’s. There were no shows on the schedule for today, so it was a laid-back day. I took care of my daily chores as usual, and observed a rakugo lesson. I walked to a local shrine with Somemaru, and went grocery shopping on the way home. Finally, I helped prepare dinner, which was kasujiru (sake-lees soup). This has become one of my favorite dishes that Somemaru makes.

Today’s lesson was given to Someta, his second session for the story Fugu-nabe (Blowfish Hotpot). I thought Someta did a great job telling the story; it didn’t appear that he had any problems with memorization, etc. After the story however, Somemaru spent about an hour lecturing Someta on not only how much work he has to do to improve this story, but also improve himself as a lifetime hanashika. There was little to no praise for the 10-year veteran today, but I also realize that Somemaru spent as much time as he did on his critique because he truly cares about Someta, and wants to see him too develop into a master of the art as the years go by.

Shortly after the lesson Somemaru, Someta, and I walked to the nearby Tarumi Shrine (Maruyama-chô, Osaka).

This is where Somemaru goes each year for his “first shrine visit” (hatsu môde). Each year he is sure to pick up a Commutation Saftey (kôtsû anzen) amulet. Somemaru says that it is important to visit shrines and temples near your home, as the gods that reside there are closest to you, and can better serve to protect you. To ignore the presence of local tutelary deities might bring about some kind of disaster.

Since I am here in Japan for research, I bought an amulet to help me in my studies (bengaku jôju).






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