Playful Mojie in Edo

Nov. 23, 2022

Playful Mojie in Edo

“Moji no Chie” by Juppensha Ikku - Bringing laughter back to life

“Mojie” is a picture drawn with words.

The famous one is “Hehenomoheji – へのへのもへじ“

This well known character consists of seven hiragana characters

Dr. Xiao Jie Yang reinterprets “Moji no Chie” written by Jupoensha Ikku in Edo period for modern Japanese readers. “Moji no Chie” contains various Japanese poetry styles such as Senryu (川柳: a metre of 5-7-5,  more cynical or humorous than Haiku), Kyoka (狂歌mad poetry: a metre of 5-7-5-7-7, a parodic subgenre of the tanka) and Tanka (短歌5-7-5-7-7 form of Japanese poetry) as well as “Mojie” illustrations.

“Written around 200 years ago, the characters are mainly merchants and townspeople working in the town of Edo, as well as people from Hanamachi (Lit. Flower District, Geisha quarter), travelers, warriors, and those wandering aimlessly through the town. A total of 41 people of men and women of all ages and a dog.  Their chats, indecent talk with minglings of joy and sorrow, may make us, who live in the modern society, feel startled, smile wryly, or make our hearts glow.

This book offers a glimpse of the “laughter of the people who lived in Edo” that Ikku observed.”

This book will be published on November 24, 2022 from MAAR-SHA in Japan.










Playful Mojie in Edo