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Unit 5

5.3 ๐Ÿ“บ โšพ Entertainment and Sports

5 min readโ€ขnovember 23, 2021

caroline-koffke

Caroline Koffke

katelyn17

Katelyn Lien


AP Japanese ย ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

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In Japan there are endless ways to have fun. Whether it is a traditional or modern form of entertainment, there is always something exciting to do for everyone.

Traditional Entertainment

Rakugo

Rakugo (่ฝ่ชž) is a traditional form of entertainment in which a storyteller sits on a stage and tells a story full of dialogue and comedy. The entire time the storyteller is on stage, they sit in a seiza (ๆญฃๅบง) position, which is similar to kneeling.
The storytellers, known as rakugoka (่ฝ่ชžๅฎถ), are limited in their body movement and do not use props, so they use changes in their voice and tone to make their stories interesting. They always end with an ochi (่ฝใก), which is like a concluding punchline.
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The ่ฝ่ชžๅฎถ are ranked based on skill and experience. Beginners, known as zenza (ๅ‰ๅบง), spend years living and studying under the mentorship of shinuchi (็œŸๆ‰“), who are ่ฝ่ชž masters. ่ฝ่ชžๅฎถ are usually men. However, some women have recently become ่ฝ่ชžๅฎถ as well.
During ่ฝ่ชž, the ๅ‰ๅบง are the first to perform. Since the ๅ‰ๅบง does not have much experience, they perform while the audience is being seated or at the beginning of the ่ฝ่ชž. The ็œŸๆ‰“ always performs last, as they are the most experienced and able to captivate the audience with one last ่ฝ่ชž.

Kabuki

Kabuki (ๆญŒ่ˆžไผŽ) is a traditional dance-drama that has been popular since the 17th century. It includes singing and dancing, and all actors wear heavy makeup. The special makeup used by ๆญŒ่ˆžไผŽ actors is known as kamudori (้šˆๅ–), and only four colors are used: black, brown, red, and blue.
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

ๆญŒ่ˆžไผŽ theaters always have a revolving stage, or mawari butai (ๅ›žใ‚Š่ˆžๅฐ), which allows for fast scene changes. Another unique detail of ๆญŒ่ˆžไผŽ is the hanamichi (่Šฑ้“), which is a walkway that runs through the audience and connects the stage to the back of the theater. The ่Šฑ้“ allows the actors to interact and get closer to the audience.
The dancing is always accompanied by traditional Japanese music, which is played on several ไธ‰ๅ‘ณ็ทš. (Learn more about this traditional Japanese instrument here under Music.) Also, all roles are played by men, which may not be obvious to the audience due to the actors' heavy makeup.

Resources:

Kamishibai

Kamishibai (็ด™่Šๅฑ…) is a form of Japanese storytelling that represents popular traditional entertainment among kids. In the past, the storytellers, known as kamishibaiya (็ด™่Šๅฑ…ๅฑ‹), told stories to kids around their neighborhood and made a living from it. Now, this is very rare, and ็ด™่Šๅฑ… is mostly done at preschools as entertainment during free time.
็ด™่Šๅฑ… uses numerous drawings that depicts different scenes to tell a story. The storyteller usually memorizes the text that accompanies each drawing and switches out the drawing as they narrate the story.
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Matsuri

Matsuri (็ฅญ) are Japanese festivals that are full of fun attractions and activities. They occur many times each year all over the country and celebrate both national and regional events.
็ฅญ usually celebrate religious holidays although they can be secular. Local volunteers often come together to provide food, entertainment, and music.
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Image Courtesy of Flickr

Many vendors line the streets near the ็ฅญ. The most popular are the food vendors, as they sell a variety of delicious food. Common food items include:
  • takoyaki (ใŸใ“็„ผใ)โ€”fried batter made from wheat flour with chopped octopus
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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

  • kakigลri (ใ‹ใๆฐท)โ€”shaved ice with sweet syrup
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Image from Wikimedia Commons

  • wata-ame (ใ‚ใŸใ‚ใ‚)โ€”cotton candy
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Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

  • yakisoba (็„ผใใใฐ)โ€”Japanese stir-fry noodles
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Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Some vendors provide a fun game called kingyo sukui (้‡‘้ญšใ™ใใ„), where the player tries to scoop goldfish using a special scooper made from thin paper. Players must scoop quickly, as the paper will easily rip as it gets wet. The goal is to get as many goldfish as possible before the paper in the scooper rips.
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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Modern Entertainment

While Japanese people still appreciate traditional forms of entertainment, they also enjoy modern entertainment like karaoke, amusement parks, and movies.
๐ŸŽค Karaoke (ใ‚ซใƒฉใ‚ชใ‚ฑ) is a well-known source of entertainment that is popular even in Western countries. People can sing along with pre-recorded songs using a microphone. Singing skills don't matter, which is why it can be enjoyed by everyone!
๐ŸŽข Tokyo Disneyland is a popular amusement park located in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo. Its main gate is next to Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station, so it is easily accessible by train. It was also the first Disneyland to be built outside of the US.
๐ŸŽฐ Pachinko (ใƒ‘ใƒใƒณใ‚ณ) is a form of gaming that is popular among adults. They are similar to slot machines, and pachinko parlors are located all over Japan. Gambling is illegal in Japan, but pachinko is allowed, as people are not winning actual money. Instead, they are able to win special prizes, keihin (ๆ™ฏๅ“).

Sports

Sumล (็›ธๆ’ฒ) is Japanese wrestling and is a very popular sport that attracts many fans from all over the country and the world. Sumo wrestlers must live in training houses, dress, and eat as required by strict tradition.
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Image Courtesy of Flickr

Sumo wrestlers are bare-handed and only wear a loincloth that is called a mawashi (ใพใ‚ใ—). All sumo wrestlers put their hair into a chonmage (ใกใ‚‡ใ‚“ใพใ’), which is a traditional Japanese hairstyle. It is such a significant part of a sumo wrestler's career, that cutting it off signifies his retirement.
Wrestlers must perform a series of traditional rituals before they step onto the wrestling ring or dohyล (ๅœŸไฟต). Some of the rituals include washing their mouth out with water and tossing salt onto the ๅœŸไฟต.
Whoever gets pushed out of the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body other than his feet is the loser. Sumo wrestlers' victories allow them to move up the ranks. However, if they begin to do poorly and lose continuously, they may be moved down.
The highest rank of professional sumo wrestlers is the yokozuna (ๆจช็ถฑ). The next highest is ลzeki (็Ž‹้–ข), and then komusubi (ๅฐ็ต). Six professional sumo tournaments called senbasho (ๅ…ˆๅ ดๆ‰€), are held each year, and they each last 15 days.
โšพ Baseball, yakyลซ (้‡Ž็ƒ), is another popular sport in Japan. Amateur baseball is especially popular, as high school tournaments are nationally televised every year.

๐Ÿ’ฅ Strive for a Five Vocabulary

  • Sensu (ๆ‰‡ๅญ): traditional Japanese fan
  • Kankyaku (่ฆณๅฎข): audience
  • Keiken (็ตŒ้จ“): experience
  • Odoru (่ธŠใ‚‹): to dance
  • Iro (่‰ฒ): color
  • Kinjo (่ฟ‘ๆ‰€): neighborhood
  • Asobu (้Šใถ): to play
  • Oekaki (ใŠ็ตตใ‹ใ): drawing
  • Jetto kลsutฤ (ใ‚ธใ‚งใƒƒใƒˆใ‚ณใƒผใ‚นใ‚ฟใƒผ): rollercoaster
  • Undล (้‹ๅ‹•): exercise
  • Senshu (้ธๆ‰‹): athlete, player
  • Hลsล (ๆ”พ้€): broadcast

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