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Iwase Bunko Library was established as a private library in Nishio city.
Yasuke Iwase, a wealthy merchant, used his own funds and opened IBL in 1908.
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HOME > all > Library029 盃席玉手妻

盃席玉手妻
寛政11 (1799)年刊
離夫著

 江戸時代の人々は、大人も真剣に遊びに興じる茶目っ気がありました。その心意気から、仲間たちとの集まりやお酒の席などに興を添える座興にも趣向を凝らし、上手にウケをとれる人を“粋”としてもてはやし、そうでない人は“野暮”と軽んじられてしまいました。そのため、座興のハウツー本がいろいろ刊行され、人々はそれらを読んで持ちネタを仕込みました。本書もそんなひとつ、寛政11年(1799)に離夫という人物によって刊行された、宴会のお座敷で披露するための手妻、つまり手品の指南書です。上・中・下の3巻から成っており、上巻でまず手妻のいろいろを絵入りで紹介し、中・下巻でその種明かしをするという構成です。ほとんどはトリックを使った手品の類ですが、中には面白化学実験のような小ネタもあります。

実際に使えそうな技を紹介いたしましょう。まずは「釜に水を入れ、火をたかずに湯気を立てて見せるわざ」。これはあらかじめ小さな水さしにタバコの煙を吹き込み、口に紙を詰めてふさいでおいたものを袖にかくしておきます。客にカラの釜を確認させてから、水を注ぐときに客に見えぬようして釜の中に水差しを仕込み、詰め物をとります。すると注がれた水の水圧におし出されたタバコの煙が、湯気のようにゆらりゆらりと立ち上る、というトリックです。

「屏風の向こうから半身を出し、空中に浮いてみせる」などという大技もあります。これは、図のように両側にフックをつけた細い縄を懐にかくしておくのがタネです。屏風の内側へ回ったらこのフックをひっかけて、わたした縄の上にそうっと乗って見せれば、屏風越しからはまるで空中に浮いているかのごとく見える、というものです。タネを聞いてしまえば「なあんだ!」ですが…。

ほかにも、紐でしばったつづらから抜け出してみせる手妻、並べた茶碗14,5個を一気に持ち上げて見せる手妻、水を張った鉢にコイを出して見せる手妻などなど、お座敷でできる手妻の数々が解説されています。かくし芸のネタにお困りの方は、ぜひ岩瀬文庫へどうぞ。


Sleight of Hand Tricks for Parties
11th year of Kansei (1799)
Author: Rifu

People of the Edo period, especially adults, were particularly interested in play and amusements. In this spirit, elaborate and exciting entertainments, like parlor tricks, were offered at both elaborate soirees and at small friends’ gatherings. A perfect audience member who laughs and says “awesome!” was called “cool,” while unresponsive audience members were called dull and made fun of. So, many how-to books explaining entertainments were published, and many people tried to be the performer at their own parties. This book is one of those how-to books, published in the 11th year of Kansei (1799) by a person known as Rifu. This book explains how to do magic tricks in front of a party audience. In other words it is a sleight of hand handbook. This book is divided into three volumes, first, middle, and last. The first volume introduces the tricks with pictures and the middle and last volumes explain the secret behind each trick. Most of the tricks included are sleight of hand, but there are a few interesting chemical reactions that performers can use as well.

Let’s look at some of the tricks that you could do yourself! First, the “Pour water in a kettle and create steam without any fire” trick. Beforehand, blow some tobacco smoke into a small pitcher. Block the opening with a small piece of paper using your mouth and hide the pitcher in your sleeve. Show your audience the empty kettle. Then, while pouring water into the kettle, place the pitcher inside the kettle and unstop the pitcher. The water pressure from the water that you poured into the kettle will force the tobacco smoke out of the kettle and appear like steam.

A big trick was called the, “Floating on air from behind a folding screen” trick. As you can see in the picture, the performer has two hooks and a rope hidden in his clothes. Behind the screen he stands on the rope held between the two hooks and appears to be floating on thin air. Of course, knowing the secret, you must be thinking, “how silly!”

Other tricks that you can perform at parties explained in these books include getting out of a wicker clothes hamper tied with a rope, gathering up a row of 14 or 15 cups in one motion, and the trick of getting a koi fish out of an apparently empty bowl of water, etc. Iwase Bunko Library invites anyone looking for a hidden talent to come see this book for themselves!