World Politics and Kim Jong-nam 世界の政治と金正男

Today was another great day at Somemaru’s. Though it started off in rather Japanese fashion, with my bringing Somemaru suguki (a kind of pickled turnip, tsukemono in season now) from Kyoto, our day seemed to end in Korea.

During and after breakfast I had a meaningful talk with Somemaru about important issues such as world religions and politics. While Somemaru is a hanashika–a comedian of sorts–by profession, this doesn’t mean that he is blind to problems in the world. Perhaps such a profession allows him to be that much more aware of them. Somemaru is quite concerned about the world, and is remarkably well educated about other cultures.

Somemaru is currently without a live-in pupil, so, until a new one comes along and is accepted, a few of his pupils will take turns helping him at home, or at rakugo shows, when necessary. Today Someya, his #6 pupil, came to help for the day.

I have met Someya on numerous occasions in the past, but we have never really had the chance to talk at length. Fortunately, today we had a good deal of time to speak with one another, and I was thoroughly impressed with what an intelligent man he is. He is currently reading a book about Kim Jong-Il’s exiled son, Kim Jong-nam. Someya has apparently read a number books on North Korea and is knowledgeable about the country and other world issues. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He’s Somemaru’s deshi after all. By the way, I have heard Someya’s rakugo several times before; he too is a terrific hanashika.

Fitting for such a day, I suppose, we all (Kinuyo, professional shamisen player and Somemaru’s deshi, incuded) went out for Korean food following shamisen lessons. Some more nice conversation went perfect with the delicious meal.







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