Ironing and Hotpot アイロンと鍋

Today I spent the day at Somemaru’s house.

Indeed, I would iron tabi socks and kimono underwear all day everyday if I could have Shishô‘s cooking in the evening! Tonight we enjoyed “Yamada hotpot.” Delicious!

Thank you very much for a great day Shishô!

今日は一日、師匠のお宅に伺わせていただきました。

本当に、師匠の料理を夜に食べられたら、足袋や肌襦袢などを年中無休、喜んでアイロンをかけます!今晩は「山田鍋」でした。見事でした!

師匠、今日も本当にどうもありがとうございました。

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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)

今日、師匠の家に伺わせていただきました。家事や着物の畳みをし、とても美味しい料理を食べさせていただきました。興味深い話もたくさんでき、とても勉強になる一日でした。

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。

師匠が美術がとても好きということ、この前もブログで書いたことがあります。絵を描くことも美術品を収集することも好きで、師匠が素敵な掛軸のコレクションを持っていて、焼き物も沢山あります。この美術品も季節、またはフィーリングに合わせて、お宅の和室によく展示なさいます。今日も新しい掛軸をかけ、古い韓国のものでとても上品でした。その中、忙しくグルグル回っていく飾り書きの字の上に精巧に描かれている鳩二羽が気持ちよく羽を休めています。字の中に満開状態の古い櫻の木が描いてあります。如何でしょうか、字を読めますか。(答えは下に書いています)

晩ご飯に旬のハーブや野菜のたっぷり入った鰻寿司をいただきました。普段通り、師匠が全て一から最後まで細心に準備してくださいました。もちろん、最高に美味しかったです。

帰るとき、顔に微笑み、お腹に美味しい料理...頭の中は一日の素敵な思い出でいっぱいでした。

師匠、本当にどうもありがとうございました。

(答え:花)

Weekend Cleaning 週末の掃除

Somemaru is off to Nagano for a show today, so I have the day off. I gave my own place a deep cleaning for a change, and kept the windows open for a good part of the day. Spring is certainly on its way!

今日は染丸師匠が長野で講演があるので、僕は休みをいただきました。今日はやっと自分と部屋に大掃除をして、ほとんど一日中窓を開けたままで過ごしました。春はもうすぐですね!

Easier Day より楽な一日

Compared to yesterday, today was a fairly easy day. Somemaru only had one engagement, a performance at the Hanjôtei daytime show. There are usually three shows a day at the Hanjôtei–the morning (asaseki), daytime (hiruseki), and evening (yoruseki). Today Somemaru performed Kowakare (Parent-Child Separation), the story he recently taught to Someya. This was my first time to hear Somemaru do this story in public, so it was quite exciting for me. He even brought tears to my eyes–Somemaru later told me that he sometimes get so into this story that he ends up crying himself!

Aside from this quick trip to the Hanjôtei, it was business as usual: cleaning, shopping, cooking, eating, and office work. I even got in about 20 pages of reading! Yes, it was an easier day today.

昨日と比べて、今日はとても楽な一日でした。師匠はお仕事が一つだけ、繁昌亭の昼席での高座でした。ところで、繁昌亭では普段、一日に三席あって、朝席、昼席、夜席です。今日のお噺は、この間染弥さんに教えていらっしゃった「子別れ」でした。僕は今日、公の場で初めて聴いたので、とてもワクワクして、涙が溢れそうになってしまいました。実は、師匠もたまにこの噺に没頭してしまい、高座で泣いてしまうときもあるとおっしゃっていました。

繁昌亭までの短い旅以外は、通常通りでした:掃除、買い物、食事、内業、等等。自分の本も20ページくらい読めました。やっぱり、今日はより楽な一日でした。

Harp, Driving, Housekeeping ハープ、運転、家事

One of the worst cellphone applications is the harp-tone alarm clock. I set the “harp” for 6 a.m. to get up and be able to leave by 7, but I slept soundly until 7:05, when I heard a sweet harp playing. With my head on Tempur pillows that Somemaru gave me, and a harp being strummed next to my ear, I thought I had died and gone to heaven… “GET UP!!” I suddenly yelled at myself. “You have to leave RIGHT NOW!!” I coached myself out of bed and into my pants. Without coffee, a shower, or shaving, I was off running for the station in a baseball cap. I guess there’s nothing like cold January blue sky to open your sleepy eyes. Just save that harp for bedtime.

I had to head out two hours early today to pick up breakfast for everybody then drive Somemaru to Shin Osaka to get on the Shinkansen (bullet train). Somemaru has four shows over the next two days in Tokyo.

I got Somemaru to the station on time, then headed back to his place to fold some kimono, and clean his house. After I got everything done there I went home to put my bedding away and clean up my own place. After that I spent the day reading, and practicing rakugo and shamisen.

翻訳を大変お待たせしております。