A set of shots from a night out with friends at one of my favorite local izakaya, .  楽 (raku) means ‘enjoyment’ in Japanese, and is part of two of my favorite kanji compounds: 音楽 (ongaku) and 楽ちん (rakuchin).  音楽 means ‘music,’ but since it’s made up of the kanji for ‘sound’ and ‘enjoyment’ I like to imagine that this compound carries with it a broader and more generous idea of listening than is normally taken for granted when the word ‘music’ crops up (as in, “That’s not music!”).  音楽 is also the name of the incredibly beautiful and incredibly expensive (upwards of $50,000 on the used market) handmade amplifier by Kondo Audio Note.  楽ちん is a word that means ‘pleasant,’ or ‘easygoing’ — a word that’s usually applied to people, or to lifestyle.  Listening to music, drinking 地酒 at izakaya with friends — could there possibly be anything more pleasant and enjoyable?


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