So today I headed to Osaka to begin what is looking to be a very busy week.
But it’s been fun! In a brain-frying-all-Japanese-day kind of fun!
My new friend Maiko picked me up from the station, and after a brief coffee shop stop, took me straight to a Rakugo performance at a local community theatre.
Now, I was pretty ignorant as to what Rakugo was before today, so for those of you who are joining me in this ignorance let me explain: Rakugo is Japanese verbal entertainment.
Hear me… Verbal entertainment.
A lone storyteller sits on a stage with a very small amount of props and tells a long and complicated, humorous story. They also play multiple characters.
At the same time.
So, in reality, it’s kind of like traditional Japanese stand up comedy, where a single person in traditional Japanese dress, sits on a mat and has multiple humorous dialogues with themselves… A little bit like Gollum in Lord of the Rings when he’s having a split personality moment! 😉
Today there were four actors doing solo sets, with some explanation and traditional Japanese music intermingled to link the whole thing together. Now these guys talk fast. Like, really fast. So I was pretty lost language wise. Fortunately, their acting skills were immense, so with the few phrases I could grab and their epic facial expressions, I could at least appreciate what was going on. And one of the actors was a 10 year old boy, who was honestly one of the funniest people I have ever seen perform!
Today was being hosted by a community group as a cultural day to bring the generations together. And there was an amazing turn out and a full theatre. So I have met some great people, spent a lot of time bowing, and even more time trying to follow Japanese conversation.
I also learnt how to play some traditional Japanese instruments.
The photos are hilarious. And the kids were WAY better than me on those drums! 😉
So it’s almost 6pm and I am exhausted! However, the day is still young for my host family, who are presently cooking me soba noodles from scratch to give me a full Japanese experience. I’m then off out at 8pm to do some detached community youth work with a group of volunteers.
But I really want a sleep right now.
And the fact I’m a Christian is totally confusing for this family. The fact I don’t drink alcohol is completely weird for them. The questions are beginning and I’m just praying the language barrier is something we can overcome.
I really need I get better at Japanese!! The day I can understand Rakugo will be the day I class myself as having some kind of credible fluency! 😉
So please pray for my time here, and for the family I’m with for these next few days. Please also pray for God’s protection for me as I work hard and reach out, that I would know the Holy Spirit so close to me in everything, and be able to rest in Him at all times.
I’m very aware right now of my complete dependancy on God. My language skills feel inadequate. My ability to catch trains and buses in this prefecture needs to get up to speed. My timetable involves a lot of youth work, many meetings and lecturing, and in human terms, I am out of my depth! I mean, I’m in a city I’ve never been to, with people I’ve never met before, who don’t speak much English, with a crazy-busy 9 days to come. Which sounds mad.
But, God doesn’t call and not equip, and in His terms, I am in the land where there can me less of me and more of Him.
So, I’m praying in faith! Please join me.
And, enjoy some photos from today! 🙂