Pigeons and Eel 鳩と鰻

Today I spent the day at Somemaru’s house, so, in addition to helping with cleaning and folding kimono, and having a couple very nice meals, I also enjoyed wonderful conversations and learned a lot.

Somemaru is very much in touch with the changing seasons, so he naturally changes his rakugo repertoire and kimono to suit the time of year. He also eats according to season, preferring the newest and freshest seasonal ingredients (hatsumono, kitsetsumono). Considering this, it should not be surprising that he’s written a book titled “The Kamigata Rakugo Seasonal Almanac” (Kamigata rakugo saijiki, Nenshôsha 1999), a book of that rakugo story synopses and commentary, categorized according to season.

I’ve mentioned in past posts that Somemaru loves art. He himself is an artist and collector. He has a fine collection of old scrolls for hanging (kakejiku) and pottery (yakimono), which he displays in a Japanese-style room in his home. He changes scrolls and pottery frequently, according to season or simply taste. Today he hung a very old scroll, one originally from Korea, which I particularly like. In it are two elaborately painted pigeons comfortably perched on a busily swirling flourish, a single line that becomes a Chinese ideogram. In the ideogram is an charming old cherry tree in bloom. Can you read the character? (answer at bottom)

Tonight for dinner we enjoyed unagi-zushi (rice flavored sushi vinegar, seasonal herbs and vegetables, topped with roasted sea eel). As usual, Somemaru meticulously prepared everything, and it was absolutely delicious.

I went home with a smile on my face, my stomach full of fine food, my head full of another day’s worth of great memories.

Thank you Shishô!

(answer: hana 花, flower)


師匠がとてもおしゃれなことに変わっていく四季と接触なさっていて、季節に合うように落語も着物も選択なさいます。食べ物も季節的で、季節ものと初物をよくいただきます。「上方らくご歳時記」(平成11年 燃焼社)という本をお書きになったこともやはり師匠らしいですね。







3 thoughts on “Pigeons and Eel 鳩と鰻

  1. 『上方らくご歳時記』の発行年が「昭和」になっていますが、「平成」だと思います。お写真のマットさんと師匠がとても素敵ですね。鰻寿司がとってもおいしそう!

    • あお様、
      コメント本当にどうもありがとうございました。その通り、昭和じゃなく、平成でした。えらい間違え… すみませんでした。
      いや、本当に… 師匠がとても素敵な人間です。こんなにいい経験ができるのは、すべて師匠のおかげだと思っています。

  2. How lucky you are that master even cooks for you, it looks very very delicious.
    I also have the book you mention, I am very proud that it even has Somemaru-shishôs signature (not for me though, I should get my personal sign sooner or later). I always found the selection of rakugo very refreshing – I had the impression Somemaru included some pretty “maniac” pieces which are not included in the “normal” rakugo-arasuji-selection-books, such as the Shiri-mochi 🙂 Of course the illustrations make it even more fun just to browse trough the pages.

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