Dance title Yakko Djji  In Japanese
Authors Kishizawa Shikisa VI (music)
Hanayagi Jusuke I (choreography)

"Yakko Djji" was staged for the first time in July 1875 at the Shintomiza, under the title "Djji Manete Mitsumen" ("the three lifelike masks of Djji"), starring Nakamura Shikan IV in the leading role. The current version of "Yakko Djji" mixes Nagauta and Tokiwazu musical ensembles. It is closely associated with the Band Mitsugor line of actors.

Key words Bukkaeri
Ennosuke Shijhassen
Kaka Jkyoku

"Yakko Djji" is a humorous dance number parodying the famous "Musume Djji" about a passionate girl who falls in love with a priest but takes revenge when she is jilted. A woman appears at the temple to dance for the dedication of the new bell, but soon she is revealed to be a male comic actor in disguise. Using three different masks which he changes in fast succession, the dancer tells the story of love between a man and woman, and the ministrations of a go-between. Finally, though, the comic dancer is also revealed to be a disguise for the vengeful spirit of the girl, who climbs on to the bell. Then, using a Kabuki technique called bukkaeri, the actor's costume is pulled down to show a black and gold geometric pattern symbolizing the scales of a serpent, while the supporting actors line up alongside to represent the tail.

Text courtesy of Jean Wilson (1999)

Nakamura Shikan IV playing the role of a shirabyshi in a print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1876

Most likely, this print depicts the performance of Nakamura Shikan IV in the dance "Djji Manete Mitsumen", the first version of "Yakko Djji", which was staged in July 1875 at the Shintomiza (the young bonze is his adopted son Nakamura Kotar I)

Search this site powered by FreeFind
  Site map | Disclaimer
Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News