Home > Encyclopedia of O-CHA(tea) > Where the song "Zuizuizukkorobashi" came from?

Main content starts here.

Japanese Tea Culture

Where the song "Zuizuizukkorobashi" came from?

If we hear the phrase of "zuizui zukkoro bashi" , it reminds us the game which we used to play when we were small. As we all sing the song, and gather around, and put a finger into the hole made with the fist of our hands, and move one to another, and stop when the song finishes. And the person had a finger inside the hole when the song stops will lose the game. It's a Japanese version of eeny meeny miney mo and the game of elimination. Let me introduce the entire word of the song.

Zuizui zukkorobashi gomamisozui chatsuboniowarete toppinshan
nuketara dondokosho tawarano nezumi ga kome kutte chu, chu, chu, chu
otousan ga yondemo okasan ga yondemo ikikkonaashiyo
idonomawaride ochawan kaitano dare

This song was sang in Shiuzoka, but also in Nagano prefecture or Saitama prefecture. In each place, it was sang with exactly the same word. It is said that long time ago, when people from Uji traveled to Tokyo, they were very arrogant to the local people, and because of the arrogance of these travelers from Uji, people who lived along the road would shut themselves in these homes and shops to avoid contact. It is interesting that this little bit of history remain in a song popular still today. However, there is only a small part in the song give us tells about this story. I think the children used only some words make sense or has some kind of story, and other part , they made to just to enjoy the rhythm of the song.
However, The phrase of "Toppinshan" in the song sounds similar to the word "Toppinpararinopoo" which means the end of the story. And it was used when the story tellers told the tales to the children in Tohoku region.
I wonder if there is a connection of this word to the song.

(Yoichiro Nakamura)