Toraken Game (虎拳)

Toraken is a game played in three Japanese rooms divided by closed Fusuma (Japanese sliding door) where people choose to wear or hand a tiger costume, women's clothes (implying Torajo, literally, a tiger woman, the mother of Watonai, another name of Seiko TEI - Zheng Chenggong or musket - implying Watonai or Kiyomasa KATO) and wait until the fusuma is opened, and they run off to decide who wins. It is also called as 'Tora-tora' due to the words of burden sung while playing.

How to Play

It is the largest-scaled 'Ken Asobi (fist games)' among 'Ozashiki-Asobi (games with Geisha)' that uses a folding screen and choreography.

Three rooms divided by fusuma, two sets of tiger fur, female costumes and musket are required to play.

Today, instead of the above, in 'Hanamachi' (or Kagai, geisha districts in Kyoto), they mainly use folding screen, gestures of crawling on their hands and knees to express a "tiger," using a stick to express a "mother" and placing fists on their waist to express a "Busho" (an old Japanese military commander.)
In this version, it is fun to see the opponent coming out of the folding screen as unexpected figure.
(It is fun to see a lovely maiko playing a tiger or a man of stout build walking totteringly, playing an old woman.)

It is a three-way standoff where a tiger beats an old mother, Watonai beats the tiger and the old mother beats her son Watonai. This game was derived from the boom of the masterpiece, "Kokusen-ya Kassen" (The Battles of Koxinga) of CHIKAMATSU which was modeled after the hero of Taiwan, Seiko TEI.
Its original form was "Senrigatake no ba" (scene of Senrigatake.)

At "Gion," since it is based on the story of tiger extermination, Watonai was changed to Kiyomasa KATO.

[Original Japanese]