The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Various Social Conditions

Bugle Song
July 1966

Rappa Bushi
[Bugle Song]
38.0 x 54.1 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

An old Japanese popular song called Rappa Bushi had been heard since around 1904 until the beginning of the Taisho era (1912-1926).

Lyrics of "Rappa Bushi" Song
1. Ju En satsu to go En satsu, dochira ga yoi ka to tou tare ba,
Chushingura no gishi no mon, futatsu domoe ga yoi wai na.

If you ask me to choose the 10-yen bill or the 5-yen bill,
I will choose the one with the crests of futatsu domoe printed on it [the 5-yen bill],
because the crest is the family crest of Kuranosuke Oishi,
who is famous as the leader of the 47 loyal samurai in the story of Chushingura.
Toko-tottoko-to! (Onomatopoeia showing the sound of a bugle)

The family crest of Kuranosuke Oishi was that of futatsu domoe (comma-shaped design), but it is said that he wore his chest armor with a crest of Eurasian sparrowhawk feathers given by his lord Takuminokami when he attacked his lord's enemy. I am not sure whether the Yamaga style war drum he used had his lord's family crest on it.

2. Parody (Kaeuta) of the above Lyrics
Ichirin sen to gorin sen, dochira ga yoi ka to tou tare ba,
Ono no Komachi ja nai keredo, ana no nai ho ga yoi wai na.

If you ask me to choose the 1-rin (0.001 yen) coin or the 5-rin coin,
I will choose the one with no hole (5-rin coin)
though it has no relation with Ono no Komachi.

[Translator's Notes: Ono no Komachi was a famous Japanese woman tanka (a Japanese 31-syllabled poem) poet in the Heian period (794-1192) and is still a symbol of beauty in Japan, who was unreasonably slandered that she had no vagina because she would not have any boyfriends.]

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>>