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Update from Coordinator for International Relations October 2018・国際交流員日記10月2018年

印刷ページ表示 更新日:2018年11月8日更新

English Rakugo in Hobara ・ 保原での英語の落語 2018年10月23日

松陽中学校 松陽中学校

Hobara’s Shouyou Jr. High School was host to two well-known performers of “rakugo,” Katsura Kaishi and Katsura Fukuryu.


Rakugo is a Japanese form of storytelling dating back to the Heian Period, when Buddhist monks began using humorous anecdotes to liven up their sermons. It is similar to the brick wall stand-up comedy common to many other countries in that one person speaks to an audience, often creating characters in order to tell a story. Otherwise, that which makes rakugo uniquely Japanese is pretty clear to see. For example, the rakugoka kneels on a cushion, on top of a red-cloth covered platform called a kōza.


During his performance, Katsura Kaishi discussed his experience performing rakugo throughout the United States. Although he seemed to be well-received, there was some miscommunication along the way. Most Americans have never seen a kōza so his hosts sometimes provided kōza that were too small or too wide.


 桂かい枝 桂かい枝

Once he was even asked to sit atop a bar table!



Katsura Fukuryu is a Canadian who joked that his name looks neither Canadian nor Japanese, but Chinese. He has been living in Japan for eighteen years despite knowing little to no Japanese when he first arrived here! His language ability has of course, come a long way since then, which he demonstrated with jokes and stories in both Japanese and English!



After both rakugoka had taken to the stage, Katsura Kaishi came back out and invited two students to try performing with him. One girl immediately raised her hand. Sitting next to Kaishi, she acted out the role of a reporter. The second volunteer was a boy who Kaishi instructed to act as if he were eating udon noodles. It was fun to watch the kids doing their best in front of an audience. Maybe they will go on to become rakugoka in the future!


(作成者:シャネン Posted by: Shannen)

The Mysterious Kumano Shrines of Isazawa  ・ 五十沢の不思議な熊野神社 2018年10月15日


   While looking through the Date City Disaster Preparation Atlas, I was surprised to find that the Isazawa area of Yanagawa Town has more than three Kumano Shrines in close proximity. Deep in the mist of Yanagawa’s rich history, what could have prompted the establishment of three shrines devoted to this particular spirit?



   According to a knowledgeable resident of Isazawa who guided us around one of the shrines, many of the residents of the Isazawa area trace their lineage to a group of people that came from Wakayama during the Edo era. Wakayama is home to the main Kumano shrines, and the group brought the spirit of these shrines with them when they moved north. Over time, different families established different shrines, often in thanks for economic prosperity. Our guide’s ancestors had also built a shrine, and she kindly agreed to give us a tour.


熊野神社の新しい鳥居 熊野神社の新しい鳥居

   Coincidently, the shrine had just celebrated the installation of a beautiful new torii gate the day prior. Fragments of celebratory paper still adorned the ground, and we even received celebratory rice cakes.



   Our guide opened the locked doors of the aged, wooden main shrine chamber, and showed us priceless paintings offered generations ago in thanks for the prosperity of the local silk industry.


   We offered our thanks to our generous host before we returned to the city hall. We were both surprised at how a seemingly forgotten shrine deep in the mountains was so deeply steeped in history.


(作成者:トニー Posted by: Tony)

English Conversation Course ・ 英会話講座 2018年10月15日


チラシはこちらです: December English Course [PDFファイル/309KB]

The dates of Date City Hall's next English Conversation Course have been decided! Please sign up by November 28th to join our classes held on December 5th, 12th, and 19th. During the first course we will go over American transportation systems such as subway trains and buses. Then we will go over phrases and vocabulary to use while shopping during the second course. During the third course, we will practice both of these topics through roleplay! Only 25 people may sign-up, so please contact Date City Hall soon!


We look forward to seeing you!


(作成者:シャネン Posted by: Shannen)

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