Chidori (Plovers) (Kyogen) (千鳥 (狂言))

Chidori is a program of Kyogen (farce played during a Noh cycle). The number describes an exchange between Tarokaja (a common name for a manservant in Kyogen, Noh farce), who tries to get sake for free, and owner of sake shop who tries to prevent it.

The characters

Noh shite (main role): Tarokaja
Ado (the second role of Kyogen, farce played during a Noh cycle): Owner of sake shop
Ado: Master

Story line

One day, a master calls Tarokaja and tells him to go to the sake shop to get sake, for an unexpected visitor.
However Tarokaja remonstrates saying 'I do not think the sake shop owner will give sake this time, as the last payment is not yet finished.'
The master pushes Tarokaja to go to the sake shop promising a reward if he can get sake.

Tarokaja asks the sake shop owner for sake. However, as expected, the sake shop owner flatly rejects saying he cannot give sake unless the last payment is finished. After much consideration, Tarokaja thinks of snatching sake while telling a funny story to the sake shop owner, who favors something rare. Tarokaja decides to tell him 'a story of catching Charadriidae seen in Tsushima Matsuri (Tsushima Festival, a religious festival of Tsushima-jinja Shrine),' and starts shikatabanashi (talking with gestures). Tarokaja makes sake shop owner to beat time, and he watch for a chance and tries to snatch a sake cask while singing and dancing. However he fails. Tarokaja tries to get his attention again by talking about yabusame (horseback archery), but the now cautious sake shop owner reminds Tarokaja not to use a sake cask in the story. Tarokaja gets astride on a wooden stick and picks up a sake cask while turning around once, imitating a horseman of yabusame, and runs for his life.

[Original Japanese]