Saturday, March 11, 2006

Skit Day

Skit Day is the culmination of six months of Japanese language study. At the end of six months, we should be able to say simple things like:

"The weather is beautiful today."
and
"I am thinking that I want to be an English teacher,"
and
"I am used to Japanese food."

Also, I should be able to order food at a restaurant, ask and give directions, and make comparisons between countries (for example, the USA and Japan).

At the end of six months what I really can say is, "The weather is beautiful today."

Anyway, at the end of six months, the class put on a skit written, directed, and produced by the 10 members of the Japanese class. The plot is as follows: a student falls asleep in class and dreams of a kabuki play and a sumo match. The student wakes up to the teacher's impatient calls of "Homework, homework, homework!"

Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater which employs the use of music, unique voices, and elaborate costumes and makeup to tell the story, often stories of battles, warriors and tragedies. In our kabuki dream, the "hero" starves to death outside a closed convenience store in Tokyo because he did not realize that there was a second convenience store just down the street. This is funny only because in Tokyo, a city block is not complete without at least two convenience stores. 7-11 is next to Family Mart is next to AM/PM is next to Lawson's. They are everywhere!!

This tragic story is based loosely on the fact that an AM/PM store that our class members frequented was shut down and turned into something else. No one starved to death because of it, though.

The sumo wrestlers were played by the two smallest women in the class. In fact, the entire skit was women, a reversal of real life, as women are not allowed to even touch the ring. I was the TV interviewer who interviewed the wrestlers after their match. I asked insightful questions such as, "Do you practice often?" and "How was the match for you?" (the winner). Journalism at its finest (that's why I was banished to the darkroom when I worked on the college newspaper!).

The skit was funny and well-received by our Japanese audience. The teachers were delighted that we were able to pull it off (we were still writing five days before the performance!). We had fun, and survived.

And now we all can also say, "I am hungry" thanks to the convincing performance of our kabuki hero.

1 comment:

irREVerance said...

How fun! Congratulations on successfully (even if for but a few minutes) turning the entire sumo world upside down.