NEZUMI

The rat, nezumi in Japanese, is also ne, one of the twelve signs of the Japanese traditional zodiac. Rats played an important role in many Kabuki dramas. The most famous one is the 3rd scene of the second act of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", in which the evil Nikki Danj˘ has turned himself into a rat to steal a precious scroll. A warrior named Arajishi Otokonosuke spots the rat with the scroll in its mouth and hits the beast with his heavy iron fan. The rat is always played by an actor, not a stage props.

The nezumi of the 3rd scene of the second act of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" in the 1803 Kabuki encyclopedia "Shibai Kinm˘ Zui".

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII playing the role of Arajishi Otokonosuke in the drama "Sugata no Hana Azuma no Date-zome", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1812 at the Ichimuraza (print made by Utagawa Kunisada I)

Matsumoto Kinsh˘ (top/left) and Iwai Kumesabur˘ III (bottom/right) playing the roles of Nikki Danj˘ and Arajishi Otokonosuke in the drama "Date Zensei Sakura no Iromaku", which was staged in the 4th lunar month of 1849 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

Kataoka Ichiz˘ IV playing the role of Arajishi Otokonosuke in the 3rd scene of the second act of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", which was staged in April 1920 at the Kabukiza

Nakamura Kichiemon I playing the role of Arajishi Otokonosuke in the 3rd scene of the second act of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", which was staged in October 1928 at the Kabukiza

Ichikawa Komaz˘ VIII playing the role of Arajishi Otokonosuke in the 3rd scene of the second act of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", which was staged in April 1908 at the Kabukiza

More about rats in Japanese culture, in prints and in Kabuki
 
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