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The Sound of Flutes and Drums!

Flute And Drums

Why haven’t you been watching Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi (Folktales from Japan)? The stories are such sweet, culture-exposing moral tales, and, oh yeah, most feature or at least include a bit of sake indulgence. As early as episode 3, in “The Old Man and His Bump,” this happens:


But first, the story’s background: Men with bumps — goiters, boils — toil in neighboring fields. One man would forsake his crops for the loss of his bump, which he sees as ruining his general appearance (and thus overall life), while the other man simply accepts his lovely labor lump and tends his crops. One day, the man who doesn’t mind his bump — we’ll call him “Bumpy” in celebration of his self-actualization — decides to sleep at a shrine as a pity plea to the gods for a bumper crop in return for having lived, without complaint, with a lump nearly half the size of his own head hanging off the right side of his face.

Bumpy And Friend

However, Bumpy’s sleep tribute is disturbed by oni, and not just any oni … caucasian oni:

Oni Cant Dance

drunken flautists and drummers, who, in fact, have no clue how to dance:

Oni Dance Oni No Dance

Frustrated at their feeble attempts to amuse themselves, and just having found Bumpy hiding under a mat, the oni “ask” Bumpy to dance. This works out surprisingly well. Bumpy, after all, is an amiable fellow who, as it turns out, loves to dance, and what is more hilarious to a bunch of drunken oni than a sober human dancing?  Am I right?  Of course I am.

The oni are so impressed, they remove the boil to blackmail Bumpy into returning subsequent nights for subsequent shrine parties for their personal amusement. Needless to say, Bumpy’s no fool and never goes back. Upon noticing his neighbor’s unbumpiness, however, Grumpy (which we’ll call him for obvious reasons) decides, like the three-year-old he was so long ago, to fill in for Bumpy in the hopes that the same good fortune would be bestowed upon him.  However:

Oni Ruined Drink

which leads to:

Double Bump

Projecting their own dancing frustrations upon Grumpy, the oni add Bumpy’s lump to Grumpy’s right cheek and refuse to remove either protrusion until Grumpy learns how to dance. Thus Grumpy, who was later in life seen to spontaneously break out in ludicrous motions somewhat resembling dance, inevitably dies old and alone in a field amongst the laughter of crows picking at his bones in retribution for not accepting his lot in life and making the best with it.

Why haven’t you been watching this show?!

On the first Friday of every month (or occasionally on the hazy, hung-over Saturday directly following), Ani-Gamers blogger Ink tackles an anime, manga, or video game through the theme of alcohol in our column “Drunken Otaku.” Look out for “Beer Googles” (reviews), “Great Drinkers” (character profiles), and “Great Moments in Drinking” (more or less). To read previous entries, click here.

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