Zohiki (Pulling the Elephant) (象引)

Zohiki (Pulling the Elephant) is a kabuki play. It is one of the eighteen best kabuki plays. It was premiered in 1701 by Danjuro ICHIKAWA (I) at Edo-Nakamura-za Theatre (as part of "Keisei Oshokun" (The Courtesan Wang Zhaojun).

It recounts how Gennaizaemon YAMAGAMI, a retainer of FUJIWARA no Kamatari, wrests the elephant SOGA no Iruka the rebel has brought away from him. Depicting Gennaizaemon's supernatural strength, it is a typical art of aragoto (heroic play).

SOGA no Iruka and Gennaizaemon YAMAGAMI may become the Minister OTOMO no Kachimaro and MITA no Genjitakeru.

Though the play was long out of performance, it was revived in 1913 by Sadanji ICHIKAWA (II) (written by Hakusei HIRAKI), in 1933 by Sansho ICHIKAWA (V) (written by Shiko YAMAZAKI), in 1958 by Zenshin-za Troupe (written by Kanesaburo HIRATA) and in 1982 by Shoroku ONOE (II) (written by Koichi TOSHIKURA). The Shoroku version is now performed by Tomijuro NAKAMURA (V) and by others.