Drunken Otaku: The Sound of Flutes and Drums!
Why haven’t you been watching 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 abumper 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.
However, Bumpy’s sleep tribute is disturbed by oni, and not just any oni ... caucasian oni:
drunken flautists and drummers, who, in fact, have no clue how to 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:
which leads to:
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?!
Folktales from Japan is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
As contributing editor at Ani-Gamers, Ink contributes and edits pieces pertaining to anime and games. You can follow his ramblings about the same via his Twitter feed or concerning poetry via his other Twitter feed. And don't forget to visit his arsenal of websites: Inksblot.com, Affairs of Ink, and Drunken Otaku.