Tojinuta (唐人歌)

Tojinuta is a category of popular song during the Edo period and the Meiji era. Its lyrics are the imitation of the pseudo-Chinese reading for characters and many of them don't have any meanings.

The oldest song "Chasanhai" (also known as "Chasanbai") that is categorized as tojinuta is a kyogen-kouta (a song for kyogen [a farce played during a Noh play cycle]), 'すうらんどんほごいてうぶゆがんなんつるほうけなんがんこいもんがんごいせつばせいやらてうをたら.'

In the Edo period, "Bokuyo Kyokashu" (Bokuyo Collection of Comic Tanka) described a song as 'a popular tojinuta singing about のんせんふらんらん露の情なや' (in "Matsu no ochiba" [a book on Shinto, the history and the language by Takanao FUJII], '浮世のんせんふんらんらん' was compiled as the song for Otsu Oiwake-e odori dance), and also "Kefukigusa" (a book for haikai including manners and selection of works) described a song as 'a kouta song has a line, ふうらいふらいふる妻いとし軒の雪, from tojinuta.'

In "Mifuneuta bue," two songs were categorized as 'Tojinuta': namely 'さあちやあわへらんやしやんで (omitted)' and 'ろすかさんはいおなりすんやおなりや (omitted).'

The above songs were those of pre-Genroku era; a tojinuta, 'かんふらんはるたいてんよながさきさくらんじやばちりこていみんよでんれきえきいきははんはうろうふすをれえんらんす,' compiled in "Matsu no ha" (a collection of kouta published in 1703) is famous as the one created in Genroku era.

A song for tojin-odori dance, 'いきにていきにてすいちやゑんちや (omitted)' compiled in "Ochibashu" (a collection of popular songs in the middle of Edo period) is known as the one whose lyrics have the meaning.

This song derived from '一更裡天一更裡天、月照紗窓,' a phrase of Chinese popular song 'Suikocho' (drunken butterfly) compiled in "Toon Wage."

Some of these songs are accompanied by dancing, and such dancing is called tojin-odori. The term 'Nonsen-odori' is seen in "Suishoan no ki" written by Bokuyo NAKARAI; it is because this dance was designed for the song 'Ukiyo Nonsen,' and the song 'Furai Furai' is the lyric for Omi-odori dance.

The terms 'Nankin-odori' seen in "Suishoan no ki" and 'Kanposai no odori' seen in the volume 4 of "Koshoku Mankintan" are both indicating tojin-odori, but it is unknown whether they had lyrics.

In Tenmei era, 'Tojin Karakotoba, Ensaibushi' was popular in Kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka area).

Among tojinuta of Busei era, 'Karamusebi' (also known as 'doncha negoto') compiled in "Ukiyogusa" is well-known.

It was also compiled in "Doyo Zatsuroku."

Its lyrics are 'Donchan, donchan donchan, Myokan doncha (omitted).'

Tojinuta was also sung for Kankan Dance, etc.

[Original Japanese]