Hayashiya Someya to Become Kikumaru III 林家染弥が三代目菊丸に

Today I read some fabulous news on the news site Mainichi JP. Somemaru’s number 6 pupil will be promoted to the illustrious name Hayashiya Kikumaru. The following is my translation of the story.

Rakugo — Someya to Receive the Name Hayashiya Kikumaru III: A Big Name from the Meiji Period is Resurrected

Mainichi Newspaper,  September 28, 2013  –  5:00 a.m.

Yoshimoto Creative Agency announced on the 27th that Hayashiya Somemaru school rakugoka Hayashi Someya (39) will be promoted to the name Hayashiya Kikumaru III next September. Kikumaru is an illustrious name in Somemaru’s artistic family line. The last Kikumaru was a popular storyteller in the Meiji period. According to entertainment history scholar Maeda Kenji, it appears that he died around 1900. This will be the first time the name has been used in 115 years.

Someya is from Mie Prefecture and joined Somemaru’s school in 1994. This year, he received the Art Encouragement Award at the Osaka Cultural Festival. Someya stated that, “Next year is my twentieth year since joining Somemaru’s school. I am looking at this year as my rakugo coming of age ceremony (rakugoka toshite no seijin shiki), so I will do my best to grow into this great name.”

Somemaru, who has been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation for a cerebral infarction since June, also attended the press conference and stated, “I want to work hard to get better in time for the name ascension. About Someya, he said, “he’s learned how present classic stories (koten rakugo) in a contemporary fashion, and he has a good character. He’s going to be taking a big name; I hope he lives up to it.”

The first Kikumaru brought recognition to the Hayashiya name in Kamigata at the end of the Edo period (1600-1868), and his biological son became the second Kikumaru. Kikumaru I is thought to have composed the rakugo classics Horikawa and Fudôbô, among others.


Previous posts on Kikumaru and Someya.


落語:三代目林家菊丸 染弥さん襲名へ 明治の大看板復活

毎日新聞 2013年09月28日 05時00分








Sarutahiko Daijin: Against Shûmei? 猿田彦大神: 襲名反対?

Yesterday I posted the following bit on Twitter (in Japanese):

Today, on Master Sanshi’s blog: “Immediately after my offertory rakugo it started raining. I am guarded by Sarutahiko Daijin.” In Japan when it suddenly starts raining like this, is this a common expression/belief? In the US and elsewhere we usually say “God is crying.” There are all kinds in the world.

And now, this news just in from Suponichi anekkusu makes one wonder about the possibility of divine intervention…

Katsura Sanshi: Taxi Ride in a Jam, ¥140,000, Bill Yoshimoto?

Katsura Sanshi (68), who will ascend to the historic Kamigata Rakugo name Katsura Bunshi this July, visited the Sarutahiko Shrine in Ise City, Mie Prefecture, on February 22. There he prayed for a successful name-change [shûmei] celebration tour, which will begin on July 16, and last about a year and a half.

To get started on the right foot, since the god Sarutahiko Daijin is believed to help guide affairs in the right direction, Sanshi performed at the shrine the story Taiken shita bakari, which has to do with a taxi. It so happened that Sanshi’s apprentice brought with him the wrong size of kimono, so they had to leave their Ise hotel at 11pm by taxi, making a round trip to Sanshi’s home in Ikeda City, to pick up the proper habutae kimono. Recounting the hectic events Sanshi said, “We returned at 5:30am.” Not forgetting to express gratitude to the god of the shrine, he added, “It was by the grace of Sarutahiko Daijin that we could return safely, and feel refreshed despite the lack of sleep.”

Considering such a happening, Sanshi decided to change the story to one of his originals at the last minute. In a press conference that followed, he said with satisfaction, “I kind of felt that I could hear the god chuckling.” He also joked, “I meant to ask the god if I should send the ¥140,000 taxi bill to Yoshimoto, but forgot. I’m sure he would say ‘send it!'” Having announced his name-change celebration tour before the god, he also said with a tightened expression, “It’s hit me that this is all quite real.”




桂三枝 ハプニングでタクシー代14万円 吉本興業に請求する?




Historic Event for Kamigata Rakugo 上方落語の歴史約な行事

On Friday, December 16, 2011, I am going to witness Kamigata Rakugo history first-hand.

If you can make it to the Osaka area this day, won’t you join me?

Yoshimoto Creative Agency is putting on a special two-part show starring Hayashiya Somemaru IV and friends (and pupils) to commemorate his 45 years as a hanashika and 20 years since ascending to the historic name Somemaru.

WHO: Hayashiya Somemaru, Katsura Sanshi, Tsukitei Happô, Miyakawa Daisuke and Hanako, Hayashiya Someji, Hayashiya Usagi, et al.

WHAT: Kiwametsuki Somemaru no Kai (The Ultimate Somemaru Show); part one will include a formal address (kôjô), manzai, and rakugo, including the story “Yodogorô” by Somemaru. Part two will consist of a Bakushô Kabuki (Gut-buster Kabuki) version of the Okaru Kanpei michiyuki section of the classic Kanadehon chûshingura, starring Sanshi (Kanpei), Somemaru (Okaru), and Happô (Bannai), complete with a supporting cast made up of Somemaru’s pupils. There will even be a full Kiyomoto ensemble.

Tickets: ¥3500 in advance or ¥4000 on the day of (tickets will probably sell out beforehand). For information call Ticket Yoshimoto at 0570-036-912 or the Rinseikai Offices at 06-6355-4659. You can get advance tickets at the Nanba Grand Kagetsu ticket window, Ticket Pia, or any 7-11, Circle K, or Sankus convenience stores.

(If you would like assistance in English, please leave a comment below ↓)

WHEN: Friday, December 16, 2011. Doors open at 6:30pm, show begins at 7pm.

WHERE: Nanba Grand Kagetsu Theater, Osaka, Japan.

Congratulations Somemaru shishô!










Katsura Sanshi → Katsura Bunshi VI?! 桂三枝 →「六代目桂文枝」?!

Yes, this seems to be true.

I first heard the news yesterday afternoon from an owner of a kimono shop in the Tenjinbashi shopping arcade. This is shocking and still somewhat unbelievable.

I don’t know the details surrounding the decision to give Sanshi this name — and Katsura Kinshi the name Katsura Kobunshi, the name that is traditionally taken before receiving the name Bunshi.

There will be a press conference held on this on the 16th, so some things should  be cleared up. I will make another post on this shortly thereafter.

It is not yet clear to me what people are thinking about this in the rakugo world, but there is definitely mixed public opinion — from supportive to complete outrage — to be found on the Internet. One online article I’ve read says that Bunshi V’s wife is reportedly happy about one of his pupils succeeding his name. Another site reports unverified rumors about senior hanashika in the Kamigata Rakugo Association being strongly opposed to Sanshi and Kinshi receiving these names. Another sight has over 600 “hate comments” posted in fierce opposition to the decision.

Succeeding a new name is typically a very auspicious event, but for some reason, these successions seem to be bathed in controversy. This is big news in the rakugo world to be sure.

Sanshi’s blog post on the matter of receiving a new name is quite casual, and reads:

It sounds like the news about me becoming Bunshi VI has been released.

I would like to make a detailed post about why this decision was made after the news conference on the 16th.

Of course, the news is true.

If I’ve been able to make it this far, there’s nothing to worry about. I’ll just keep looking forward, having fun, doing the best I can.

Strangely, I’m in a serene state of mind.

Time for a walk…





落語の世界では噺家さんたちはこれについてどのように思っているのでしょうか。インターネットでは、様々なリアクション(賛成から激怒まで)が見つかります。あるオンライン記事によると、文枝師匠の奥様が「名跡が弟子に受け継がれるのはうれしいこと」とおっしゃっています。 あるサイトが上方落語協会の大師匠が大反対なさっているという未証明の噂を発表しました。もう一つのサイトで決意に対して大反対の「嫌みコメント」600件以上集まっています。