Fun at the Hanjotei 繁昌亭楽しいひと時

There were a few songs for his new book that Somemaru needed to record, so he got together with a couple shamisen players and a few pupils at the Hanjôtei this morning. It was a treat to hear so much yose bayashi music live.

Since the recording was going on all morning, I had some time to do some exploring. There is much of interest at the Hanjôtei, but today I spent a good deal of time looking at the neta-chô (story registers), which have been diligently kept since the Hanjôtei opened in 2006.

Another item of interest is the kamidana (Shinto altar), which hangs on the wall in front of the gakuya (dressing room). A lot of families in Japan have these small altars in their homes. Somemaru has one in his kitchen devoted to a god that offers protection from fire. It is quite common for theaters to have these altars, which I assume house gods of arts and/or entertainment.

I heard from Somemaru that he noticed some time ago that nobody seemed to be taking care of the altar at the Hanjôtei. He mentioned to the management that neglecting the altar might bring bad luck to the yose. Since then, apparently, fresh branches, salt, and water, (and perhaps occasionally food) have been offered on a regular basis.

After lunch we drove out to Hirakata (northern Osaka) for a show. Today Somemaru performed Shiri mochi (Butt Mochi), a story about a poor yet prideful couple who put on an aural spectacle to make it sound as if they are busy pounding mochi at New Year’s. This is supposed to make a statement about the couple’s year-end financial situation; that they have indeed prospered in the previous year, at least enough to bring in the New Year like other families traditionally do. To make the perfect mochi-pounding sound effects, the husband convinces his wife expose her bare bottom, and he goes to work pounding it and slapping it, in time with his cadences (the way Somemaru performs this is absolutely hilarious). The story ends with the wife not being able to take another slap. She says, “Just eat the ‘rice’ as it is.”







Comments コメント

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s