September 4, 2009

Advanced Rakugo: Manjyū are Scary!

A promised follow up to the Rakugo with English post.
This vid is in Japanese, so those who aren't studying Japanese, I'll provide a summary below the video. If you are interested in Japanese culture, you should know this particular rakugo act because it is pretty famous.

Summary: A few guys are talking about what scares them the most. One of them remains quiet until they press him, and he surprises them by saying that he finds manjyū (steamed dumplings with sweet-bean filling) very scary. They decide to play a trick on him and slip some manjyū into his house, which he begins to eat happily, and realize they've been duped. "Alright, what are you really afraid of?" they demand. To which he replies that he is very afraid of hot tea.
Seems like most people spell it "manjū," but I like consistent romaji.

Anybody know other famous rakugo that are important cultural references?