QLeft.png Onana-chan is an alcohol-loving fish vendor who likes to laze around. Her younger sister dreams that one day she will get serious about her work. An excerpt from the play "Christmas Rakugo - Shibahama/Shiba Beach." QRight.png


What is Christmas?

Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Umm... Hmm...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
It's so hard to find a book on Christmas rakugo...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I can't get any good ideas on how to implement Christmas in a classic rakugo story...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hmm... Christmas... Christmas...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
What even is Christmas?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Oh, Kuma-san. What's wrong?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(Ooh, Hatchan.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Are you worried about something?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(Hmm... Do you know what Christmas is?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Kuri-what? It sounds like an awful dish.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(It's not food. Christmas is the birthday of Christ. The missionaries hold a festival on that day.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Ooh, a festival! Sounds jolly!)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(It does indeed. But I'm still not sure what it is.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(What do you mean?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(I don't understand why people celebrate Christmas by eating cakes, singing carols and exchanging presents.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Maybe the presents are for their god?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(No, they're things they want for themselves.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(What about their god?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Kuma-san)
"(Who knows.)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(As Hatchan)
"(Doesn't he get jealous?)"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Ah...!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I've been thinking so much about a Christmas rakugo that I started thinking in rakugo...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
And I'm nowhere near solving my dilemma...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Welcome back, Yukko.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hello...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Care for some tea?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Yes, please. Thank you.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Oh, I guess I could ask Rui about Christmas...)


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Erm... There's something I want to ask you.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Yes?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
It's about Christmas...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Oh, yes. Have you decided what you're going to get everyone?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Oh, about that...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
You haven't even started looking, have you?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
......


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Listen, you have to observe someone very closely if you want to know how to choose their present. Look at what made them the happiest.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Observation is important for our plays too, so don't miss this chance. Here's your tea.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Th-Thank you. I actually have a question about that...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Huh?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Why do people exchange presents on Christmas?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Huh?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Christmas is Christ's birthday, right? So why do people give each other presents instead of giving them to Christ?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Why...? I had never thought about that before.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I might be thinking too hard about this, but I don't get it...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Hmm... Ah! Why don't you compare it to what we do in Japan?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Huh?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
We throw a coin in a coin box when we pray at a shrine, right?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Sure.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Huh?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
We throw a coin in a coin box when we pray at a shrine, right?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Sure.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
When we do that we're not offering our money, but rather our gratitude and our prayers.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Oh, yes.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
The gods don't want our money, they want for us to pray at their shrines.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
I think that Christmas is similar. By exchanging presents, people learn to care for each other. That's their present to Christ.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I see... Caring for other people is what Christmas is all about.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Exactly. At least that's how I see it.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I get it now. Thank you.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Heh heh. I'm glad I was able to help.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Oh, I'm going to do some shopping. Is there anything you need?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
No, I got what I wanted just now.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Really? Well, if you change your mind, let me know.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Sure. See you later.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Now that I know what Christmas means, I can get back to the script.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Oh, I almost forgot I had Banana-san's Santa outfit.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
......


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
............


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Well, no one's here, so I might as well try it on.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hmm... I bet everyone would be shocked to see someone walking in this during the Edo period.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Ho-ho-ho! I'm Santa Claus. No matter how secure your house is, I'll sneak in and leave you presents!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Ho-ho-ho. You have been a good kid, so here's a special Yuyuko's rakugo CD--!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Sorry, I forgot my phone... Eh!?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
For you--!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
......


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
......


Rui (icon).png Rui:
...What...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Oops... This is bad.)


Rui (icon).png Rui:
What are you doing?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(I have to wing it!)


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Why are you wearing a Santa outfit?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
This is all a dream.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Huh?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
It's all a dream.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
...!? What!?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Rui, you're having a dream!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Yukko?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
This is all a dream!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
...Okay.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Aren't you forgetting about your shopping...?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Hmm... Y-Yes. See you.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
...Phew.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Something tells me she didn't fall for it, but I could use this setting for the script.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Time to get back to the script.

Tanaka Yuyuko's Rakugo Manual

Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Erm... Welcome to today's performance.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Before we start our Christmas rakugo "Shibahama", I'd like to go over the basics of rakugo.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yes, please!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
For starters, this fan and this handkerchief are very important for the storyteller.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
A storyteller can use these two small props to create a wide variety of stories. For example, they can use this fan as chopsticks and make it look like they're eating soba...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
This is done by holding the fan upside-down in their right hand, and making a bowl shape with their left hand.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Hmmm...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Let me give you an example...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Ooh, it's finally here. I love soba in winter!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
*slurp* *slurp* Hmm! The soup is delicious. This is just the best for a cold night like today.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
*slurp* Phew! That was truly divine! Well, this is how it's done.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Whoa! You only had a fan and it looked like you were enjoying soba for real!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
A real master can even portray a lonely food stall illuminated by a small torch on cold winter's night.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I see! What else can you portray?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Using a fan, one can draw characters with it like a brush, or puff it with their mouth to portray smoking a pipe, or even drinking sake by opening the fan.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Whoa! That's really cool!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
A fan can also reproduce sounds. If you hold it like this and bang in on the floor...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
It's me! Open the door!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
As you can see, a fan has many uses.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
How do you use a handkerchief?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
You can make it look like a wallet, or a letter, or even a contract. If you fold it this way, and hold it like this, you can open it up and... Ouch, this sweet potato is so hot!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Rakugo performers create an entire world by just using their gestures and facial expressions!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Exactly. That's why it takes many years of training to become a storyteller.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I have a question!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Yes, Banana-san. What is it?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
A storyteller performs many roles, right? How do they differentiate between them?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hmm... Well, to put it simply... Have you ever watched a kabuki performance?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yes, a number of times.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Well, usually the higher-ranking performers stand on the right, while the lower-ranking ones stand on the left.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
In rakugo, when a storyteller performs two different roles, they can be distinguished by the direction the storyteller is facing when they talk. They face toward the left side of the stage when talking to a lower-ranking character.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Oh, I have noticed they turn their face quite often.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Exactly. If the storyteller doesn't perform these gestures well, the audience will get confused.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
It sounds really difficult to talk to someone who isn't actually there...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
When a young performer starts their training, they use drumsticks that will be used in the actual performance to train.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Oh, really?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
They set them up so they can visualize the distance with whom they are speaking. Like this...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Retired)
"Hey, Sadakichi."


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Sadakichi)
"Did you call me, sir?"


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Retired)
"Don't you "sir" me. Come here."


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Sadakichi)
"Yes, sir."


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Retired)
"Again with the "sir". I saw you napping just now."


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
(Sadakichi)
"Oh, I wasn't napping, sir. I was sleeping."


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Well, those were a few lines from "Tea Ceremony"...


:
*clap clap clap*


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yuyuko-chan, that was amazing! I honestly thought there were two people talking!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Thank you so much.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
All right, I'll give it a try!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
............


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Banana-san... That just looks like you're swinging your neck around...


Nana (icon).png Nana:
This is too hard!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Oh, well... It'll help me improve my skills, so I'll keep practicing!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Heh heh heh... Welcome to the profound world of rakugo.

Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I worked all night on the adaptation of the script. Thank you for worrying about me. I hope you'll enjoy my rakugo.

Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
It's really hard to adapt a classic story. I'm glad I challenged myself.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Banana-san, Jun-Jun-san and Mahiru-san are waiting for my script.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I want to finish the script as soon as possible so we can deliver the best rakugo our skills allow. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.