The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Yama Visitors

A Visitor to the Pit (Yama) in the Meiji Era (1868-1912): Horaimame (Sugarcoated Soybeans) Vendor Bringing Happiness to Children
1964 - 1967

Meiji Yama no Homonsha: Kodomo no Yorokobu Horaimame-uri
[A Visitor to the Pit (Yama) in the Meiji Era (1868-1912): Horaimame (Sugarcoated Soybeans) Vendor Bringing Happiness to Children]
38.2 x 54.1 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

The horaimame vendor was dressed in gaudy clothes and danced comically without moving his head in harmony with the beat of the round fan-shaped drum in his hand (The dance was called kappore). In the shallow wooden tub on his head were small bags of soybeans with windmills and Sun flags or Japanese Navy flags. The beans were sugarcoated white soybeans.

Lyrics of His Song

Muko yokocho no Oinari-san e, issen agete,
Osen ga chaya ni koshi o kaketara shibucha o dashita.
Shibucha yokuyoku yokome de mireba,
kome no dango ka, mugi no dango ka.
Odango, Odango! Toton-ko-ton!

I offered 1 sen (0.01 yen) to the Inari shrine along the opposite alley, and I went to Osen's teahouse.
On sitting on the bench, they served a tray with a cup of bitter tea.
While sipping the tea, I happened to notice rice or barley dumplings on the tray.
Odango! (Dumplings!) Odango! Toton-ko-ton! (Onomatopoeia of the beat of the drum)

(There was a very prosperous teahouse near Kasamori Inari shrine in Edo [Tokyo today], which was famous for a beautiful young girl called Kasamori Osen. Working as the popular draw of the teahouse, it was said that the above song was made for her.)

Lyrics of His Song (Continued from the above)

Ton-toko! Ton-toko! Mata ureta. Mata ga uretara kintama no yadogae isogashiina.

Ton-toko! Ton-toko! Another bag sold. If my thighs sold, I would be busy moving them with the buyer's body.

[Translator's Notes: "Mata" in this song has two meanings of "another" and "thighs," and "Mata ureta" has two meanings of "Another one sold" and "My thighs sold."]

(It cost 1 sen of a ten-kin token to buy a bag of beans.)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

<<Last pictorial record    Next pictorial record>>

1 | 2|3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |   Next 10 Items>>