Famous Plays

Famous Plays: KyogenBo Shibari(Tied to a Stick)

Category:Servant Kyogen

SummaryAbout clever attempts made by two people who are physically restrained but nevertheless want to drink sake

Taro Kaja (shite) and Jiro Kaja are two servants who always steal and drink sake whenever their master is not home. The desperate master manages to deceive the two when he leaves his home, leaving the arms of one of them tied to a stick and the other’s hands tied behind him. Despite these restraints, the two sneak into the warehouse, take sake from there and begin to drink it. The master returns home and finds the two servants dancing and singing and having a party while still being tied up, and this in turn causes an uproar.

The master comes up with a plot that entices the servants to do something, only to be prevented from moving. However, the two servants’ desire to drink sake leads them to help each other, and through their combined wisdom they are able to overcome their difficult situation. For the audience, it is a joy to watch the funny behavior of the two characters who are in high spirits from drinking sake despite their limited movement.

Watch videoThe two servants do not notice that their master has returned

A cup is represented by a lid of “kazuraoke (wig container).” The servants help each other to drink sake while their hands are still tied up. It seems the two drunkards are unable to comprehend the meaning of their master’s face that is reflected in the sake in the cup.

Relevant culture

In Kabuki, a play with the same title has been made by turning the piece into a dance.

July 28, 2006 at 4 p.m.
National Noh Theatre
“Bo Shibari (Tied to a Stick),” Izumi School

Characters and Performers

Taro Kaja (shite): Nomura Mansai II
Master (ado): Nomura Mansaku
Jiro Kaja (koado): Ishida Yukio