by Jippensha Ikku

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Yajirobei, or Yaji for short. Born into a well-to-do merchant family but now in greatly reduced circumstances as a result of his dissipations, he travels about Japan and becomes involved in a variety of broadly humorous episodes. More quick-witted than virtuous, he is a recognizable type of picaresque traveler. His creation was, however, an innovation and a popular one; previous Japanese travel accounts did not make use of this kind of robust and realistic traveler.


Hana-no-suke, an actor, later renamed Kitahachi, or Kita for short. Exuberant and shrewd, Kita is Yaji’s traveling companion and shares in his adventures.

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