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.”

今度の本の寄席囃子の曲の録音は少し残っていたので、師匠がお囃子さん二人と弟子さん三人と午前中に繁昌亭で待ち合わせして録音しました。午前中に寄席囃子のライブを沢山聴けて本当に贅沢でした。

そのとき、繁昌亭を冒険する時間もありました。繁昌亭に色々な面白いところがあるんですけど、今日は根多帳をゆっくり見ました。繁昌亭ができてから(2006年)噺家さんたちが毎日必ず書いています。

もう一つ面白いものに注目してしまいました。それは楽屋の前にある神棚です。多くの日本の家族は神棚を家に飾りますね。染丸師匠も家事から守ってくださる神様の神棚がキッチンにあります。劇場も神棚をよく飾るみたいですね。これは芸能の神様の棚でありましょう。

染丸師匠によると、ある日に繁昌亭にある神棚を誰も大切にしていないでしょうことに気づいて、上方落語協会のマネジャーにこういう風におっしゃいました、「神様を祭らなかったら繁昌亭に何か災いでもあるかもしれない」。その後は繁昌亭の神棚がいつも大切にされているみたいです。

昼ご飯の後、枚方市(北大阪)まで運転しました。今日、師匠の噺は「尻餅」でした。この噺の中にお金のない夫婦が近所の人に年末にちゃんとお金があるという事を思わせたいので、近所の人と同じように餅つきの音を鳴らそうということを考えだします。この音を鳴らすのに旦那さんは家内に真裸のお尻を出してもらい、声の拍子と共に一生懸命叩きます(染丸師匠の叩き方は本当に面白くて爆笑してしまいます)。家内の方は「まだかいなあ」といいながら疲れてしまいます。もう我慢できなくなったら、「おこわ(強飯)のままで食べといてえな」と。

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