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Osaka and Culture of Laughter : Osaka People's Lifestyle and Laughter


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  • 大阪の「笑いの文化」について : 大阪人の生活文化と笑い
  • オオサカ ノ ワライ ノ ブンカ ニ ツイテ オオサカジン ノ セイカツ ブンカ ト ワライ

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When considering Osaka in terms of "culture," one cannot avoid considering Osaka's "Culture of Laughter." In Osaka, entertainment arts that center around laughter - such as rakugo, manzai and kigeki (comedies) - continue to thrive, while laughter is also woven into the daily lives of Osaka's people. It can be said that a "Culture of Laughter" may be found not only in the Osaka dialect, but also in the way of life and the values of Osaka's people. Osaka has developed a culture that encourages laughter rather than look down upon it. It would appear that an explanation of this can be found in Osaka's development, during the Edo period, as a center for "merchant society." As a result, a merchant lifestyle and culture arose there. The Osaka dialect, developed by the people of Osaka, is one example. For merchants "bargaining" is a vital activity in their daily lives, and they are able to do this smoothly by making use of the Osaka dialect. And quite naturally, a "culture of the mouth" has developed. Moreover, because dealings and relations are "competitive," laughter helps to ease the tensions and avoid the confrontations that come with competition. When there is a need to shorten the distance between people, smiles and laughter are indispensable. Puns, jokes, and other methods to make people laugh also develop and there is laughter in daily lives and in the life culture which laughter has developed. This paper considers the relation between Osaka life culture and laughter.



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