Learn on Your Own 自分で習え

Somemaru had to teach Sumiyoshi odori (dance) at the Hanjôtei today, so after breakfast we changed clothes and headed out. It is always fun for me to wear yukata (thin, cotton kimono, usually worn during summer months, or for practice, work, or something else that might make you sweat), but today was my first time to drive wearing one. I got several strange looks from other drivers, and even a couple policemen. Somemaru got a kick out of this.

After dance practice Somemaru had a meeting with the manager of the Hanjôtei. Somemaru proposed ending music and dance classes (narimono kyôshitsu) for a number of reasons, the most significant being that only a few out of 15 or 20 zenza seem to actually be learning anything. Somemaru pointed out the fact that some masters, despite Kamigata rakugo being such a musical art, don’t really feel it’s important to learn anything besides storytelling. In this, some hanashika do nothing but shinsaku (lit. newly-composed) rakugo, which most often leaves traditional instruments out altogether.

Somemaru today expressed that he feels a brief indroduction to the basics of yose bayashi and dance is important, but following that formal introductions to outside teachers can be made to young hanashika who are truly intent on learning arts that will enable them to make their rakugo more “colorful” (hade). The result of today’s meeting was a decision to discontinue the narimono kyôshitsu as of March 31. If in the future there are serious requests for another class with regular meeting times, there is a chance that things will recommence, though, perhaps, with new guidelines for participants.

All this said, Somemaru truly feels that it is important for hanashika to learn outside (non-rakugo) traditional arts like Japanese dance, yose bayashi, etc. This, he says, will help them make their art more enjoyable to listen to and watch. Personally, Somemaru is a big fan of kabuki. He seems to have entire plays memorized. In fact, he even subscribes to the Kabuki Channel. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t watch kabuki at his house! Not surprisingly, Somemaru has many shibaibanashi (kabuki-inspired rakugo stories, which have a long history in Osaka) in his repetoire. Again, Somemaru feels practicing various arts is very important. Experiencing various things is important.

Speaking of having experiences, when I was a minarai apprentice of Katsura Bunshi V (1930-2005) he said half-jokingly that hanashika also need to spend time drinking, gambling, and carousing. Apparently hanashika need to know about these “three paths of pleasure” (sandôraku) since they are often found in rakugo stories.

今日、師匠が繁昌亭で住吉踊りを教える日だったので、朝食後に着替えて出かけました。浴衣を着るのがいつにしても楽しいけど、今日は初めて浴衣を着たままで運転しました。通っていたトライバー、そうしておまわりさんまでも僕の方へ見ていて「えっ?」みたいな顔をしていました。師匠がこれに笑っていました。

踊りのお稽古の後に、師匠が繁昌亭のマネジャーと会議がありました。鳴物教室を暫く止めましょうという話になりました。その理由の一つは、長いことをお稽古しても、前座15〜20人の中から数人しか上達しないからです。確かに一門一門のやり方があって、教室がなくても構わない方もおられるでしょう。噺以外必要なもの(芸)はないと思っているかたもおられるし、ハメモノがあまり入らない新作落語ばかりやっている方もいます。

定期的な教室を行うより、たまに興味を持つ前座に寄席囃子や鳴物などの簡単な入門ワークショップをやった方がいいかもしれません。その後、自分の落語を派手に(面白く・深く)するために他の芸を本気で習いたい前座がいたら、染丸師匠などがちゃんとした師範を紹介することも考えてくださるかもしれません。結局、今日の会議の結果は3月いっぱいで鳴物教室が暫く中止になることです。将来的に、教室をお願いする人がたくさんいたら、鳴物教室がまたできるでしょう。

落語でない芸、鳴物、踊り、その他、を勉強することはとても大事だと染丸師匠が心より思っています。例えば、師匠の場合、歌舞伎の大ファンで、歌舞伎の台詞・曲・舞などをたくさん覚えています。歌舞伎チャネルまでも予約しています。さすが!師匠の家で歌舞伎を見ない日はなかなかありません。当たり前のことかもしれないけど、師匠の落語レペトリーに芝居噺(歌舞伎から取った、または歌舞伎の影響がある噺)がたくさん入っています。ですから、鳴物教室が一時期なくなっても、師匠がそれぞれのお稽古は大事だと思っています。それぞれの経験は大事です。

経験の話を申しますと、五代目桂文枝の見習いをしていた時、ある日に文枝師匠が冗談半分でこういうこと言ってくださいました:三道楽(女、酒、賭け事)は落語によく出るから、噺家に三道楽も必要。

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