Art Education in Japan:
When many Americans hear this story they are not as familiar with the different artists referred to, with the exception of Picasso. In Japan, art education is a compulsory part of education. As a result the names of the artists are not exotic or unfamiliar as they might be to a western audience. Instead, these names might resonate more with the elementary aged group because of their proximity to art education. As a result, this story is often performed in front of an elementary aged audience.
Pay special attention to the language used in this Rakugo performance. There is a distinct difference in language used by the two characters. One, the museum attendant is in a subordinate position to the customer who is present at the museum. The characterization of the attendant can be acknowledged through the use of honorific speech. The humor comes about as the attendant is brutally honest, yet distinctly polite in the speech.
When listening carefully there are several speech characteristics that differentiate the lady from the museum attendant. When the lady is speaking, feminine speech is used. Although this type of speech is not seen in everyday language, it is used in dramas, movies, and animation as a way to mark the language pattern of the character and embed an impressionable identity. Interestingly, recent research shows a diminishing use of female speech in television dramas over the last few decades.