Himekuri Calendar 日めくりカレンダー

Last year Somemaru taught me all kinds of things.

In addition to rakugo he also taught me about art, history, geography, cuisine, Japanese dress, Japanese language, not to mention much more.

A couple things he taught me about I failed to grasp, however, such as the jikkan (Ten Heavenly Stems) and jûnishi (Twelve Earthly Branches) of the sexagenary cycle, and how time was told in the Edo Period (e.g., the third “hour” of the Snake = 10 a.m.).

I got a great present for Christmas this year; a Japanese tear-away calendar. I’ve seen them in movies and local restaurants in the past, but this is the first time I’ve had my own. These tear-away calendars are really useful. In addition to the date, they hold all kinds of information. Things like “January 1, Monday (Dec. 16 on the Lunar calendar) Coming of Age Day,” and even the daily adages such as “Stars reveal the night without toil” (Kai naki hoshi ga yoru o askasu) are easy enough to comprehend, but how about things like “Mutsuki (month of affection), Hatsumi (the first snake), Tsuchi no to mi (second [to/yang] earth snake), Nijûhasshuku ki (Ki [“Roof Top,” or Alpha Aquarius/Pegasus] of the 28 Chinese Constellations)… (sigh) Pretty tough. But, looking at a calendar such as this one day in and day out and not knowing, it’s frustrating to say the least.

And that’s when I remembered Somemaru’s lesson on the jikkan and juunishi last year, that it certainly has something to do with all of this on my new calendar. I figured it was time to revisit what he taught me. Also, as Somemaru said before, knowledge of these things will be useful in comprehending older rakugo stories.

I still have much to learn, and “calculations” still take more time than I’d like, but I think I’m gradually getting it. Old wisdom is something else.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, hey what time is it?

Huh, it’s 5.

6, 7, 8, 9… ¹

昨年、師匠が色々なことを教えてくださいました。

落語だけじゃなく、美術について、歴史、地理、料理、和装、日本語、等々...

しかし、とても分かりにくかったのは十干十二支や江戸時代の時間の計り方(例、巳三つ時=午前10時)でした。

クリスマスの日にとてもいいプレゼントをいただきました。なんと、日めくりカレンダーをいただきました。前から日本の映画、またお店などで見たことがありましたが、初めて自分のが手に入りました。日めくりカレンダーは本当に便利ですね。日にちだけじゃなく、色んな情報が載っています。「1月9日月曜(旧12月16日)成人の日」や、毎日のことわざ「例、甲斐なき星が夜を明かす」とかはまま分かりやすいですが、「睦月、初巳、六白、先負、己(つちのと)巳、二十八宿危」などはいかがですか。ナカナカむずかしいですね〜。でも、毎日こんなカレンダーを見て意味分からずままは少々イライラして落ち着きませんねや。

Image property of http://keisan.casio.jpそれで、去年師匠が教えてくださった十干十二支を思い出して、とても関係していることに気づき、もう一度勉強しなおさないといけないと思いました。師匠が言ってくださったように、落語の古い噺を理解するには、この知識はとても役立ちますし。

まだまだ勉強の途中で、それぞれの計算するのが時間がかかりますが、徐々に理解できるようになってきている感じがします。昔の知恵は本当に凄いですね。

一つ二つ三つ四つ五つ六つ七つ八つ、うどん屋いま何ドキや?

へぇ、五つやで。

六つ、七つ、八つ、九つ...(時うどんより)

¹ These are the final lines of the rakugo story Toki udon (Time Noodles), in which a cheapskate customer tries to confuse the noodle vendor by asking the time as he’s counting out coins to pay with. As we can see, the plan backfires.

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