Reality Check 現実を把握させられて

Today Somemaru gave me the day off so I could go out to Ritsumeikan to meet with my research advisor. Though my advisor thinks the experiences I am having with Somemaru are wonderful, he suggested that that I start spending more time in the library with rakugo, and other related materials. I will also have to present my research regularly and attend classes in the grad school from April.

There is an fascinating (okay, maybe not so fascinating) conflict to be found in my research. It seems that the storytellers themselves often feel that it is scholars who have done damage to their art by insisting on picking apart rakugo and placing it into various categories. In a sense, some storytellers feel that scholars have taken the fun out of rakugo, therefore distancing it from the people it is intended for–the masses. On the other hand, scholars feel there must be some kind of theoretical or critical approach to rakugo. Simply appreciating it as it is does not constitute a substantial work on the art. Rakugo must be analyzed and placed next to similar arts.

I love most being with Somemaru, being in the rakugo world. I feel that it is here where I learn the most. However, I also I understand that, since I have chosen a path of so-called academia, I must follow that which my academic advisors instruct me to do. Then again, there is something, a hunch, that tells me that I have the best of both worlds in my research. I almost feel that I won’t be able to bring forth a fine piece of research if I don’t include the hanashika perspective. I feel that it would hurt my work if I don’t include the thoughts and guidance of a man such as Somemaru.

It is clear that I will not be able to able to continue as Somemaru’s full-time deshi, but I cannot begin to think of severing my ties with him completely.






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