NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/2/15


初代 林家木久扇・二代目 林家木久蔵 Shodai HayashiyaKikuou Nidaime HayashiyaKikuzou Hayashiya Kikuou I Hayashiya Kikuzou II , Ragkugo Storytellers

Jp En

Hayashiya Kikuou, a rakugo storyteller, was born in 1937, Tokyo. Kikuzou first studied under Katsura Mikisuke III, an established rakugo storyteller. However, when Mikisuke passed away in 1961, Kikuzou went on to become a pupil of Hayashiya Shouzou X III and named himself Hayashiya Kikuzou. In 1972, he was promoted to become “shin’uchi” and made his official debut as an independent storytelling performer. In 1965, he became a regular star on “Shouten”, a popular television program. He is also the chairman of the National Ramen Noodle Party and a member of trustees of the Rakugo Association. In 2007, he handed his name to his eldest son and gave himself a different name, Kikuou.
Hayashiya Kikuzou was born in 1975, Tokyo. He graduated from the Department of Performing Arts at Tamagawa University. He studied under his father, Hayashiya Kikuzou. In 1996, he became “zenza”, meaning he was allowed to perform on the stage for the first time, and named himself Hayashiya Kikuo. In 2007, he was promoted to “shin’uchi” and became Hayashiya Kikuzou II.
Together Hayashiya Kikuou and Kikuzou launched a performing tour to celebrate their double name-taking ceremony starting at Suzuki Performing Center at Ueno, Tokyo, in 2007. It was an unprecedented occurrence for a pupil to take on his master’s name while the master was still alive.
“Even for rakugo which is a rather gentle performing art, it is essential to be assertive and think outside of the box, and not just maintain the tradition”, says both Hayashi. It is evident that they thrive on developing rakugo, finding new ways of working while keeping its tradition alive.
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2007/12/20


【寛】 Kan Tolerance, Leniency

Jp En

This character is a so-called compound ideograph. What regards the upper part 宀 (ukanmuri: roof classifier) which can be seen also in a lot of other characters, it does not simply show a roof, but is the roof of a mausoleum. This character points at the basis of Asian religious culture, the custom of memorial service for the ancestors and ancestor worship. One key to the long period of peace that can be seen in Asian history thus is included in this Kanji. By thinking about the favors received from the ancestors, it is possible to endure the hardships of human life and one becomes wide-hearted and more broad-minded. When recalling one’s ancestors with their different ways of thinking and life philosophy, one becomes more tolerant regarding people leading diametric opposite lives and holding completely different opinions in the present, and the essence of human life shows.
The lower part is a priestess or shrine maiden engaged in a ritual in the mausoleum. Shintō, the indigenous religion of Japan also often has rituals with shrine maidens inspired when in religious frenzy. In such a state, the priestess gets relaxed and conveys a divine message. The appearance of the priestess or shrine maiden at this time stresses her eyes with what in the character form of the Common Use Kanji looks like a grass-classifier but actually is a curse decoration. Both, the minds and hearts of the family taking part in the ritual as well as the relaxed conduct of the priestess or shrine maiden contribute to the meaning of the character.
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2007/2/8


丸毛家下屋敷 Marumouke-shimoyashiki The Marumou Family Lower Mansion

Jp En

The Marumou Family Lower Mansion is the symbol of Usuki, a former castle town. It was once the mansion of a high-ranking samurai who had defined its late-Edo period architectural style.

The Marumou family were samurai of the former Mino clan (in today's Gifu Prefecture), and were once in service to Mitsuhide Akechi. After Mitsuhide was defeated by Hideyoshi Toyotomi during the Battle of Yamazaki in the 10th year of the Tenshou era (1582), the family was homeless for many years.

The family made a comeback in the 5th year of the Kannei era (1628) during the Edo period. Because the first leader of the Usuki clan, Sadamichi Inaba, was related to the Marumou family, they were taken in by them. Soon after, the Marumou family came to reign as one of the highest-ranking samurai families in the Usuki clan.

One of the main characteristics of the Marumou Family Lower Mansion is that the house is completely divided by walls into several parts, including an 'omote' for guests, and an 'oku' for living quarters. Not only individual rooms but the entrance also is divided, for guests and family. One can see how seriously the samurai family took tradition and ceremonies.
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