The Tokaidochu Hizakurige | Jippensha Ikku | A Review


The Tokaidochu Hizakurige | Jippensha Ikku | A Review

The Tokaidochu Hizakurige  Jippensha Ikku  A Review

The Tokaidochu Hizakurige Jippensha Ikku A Review

The Tokaidochu Hizakurige by Jippensha Ikku-A Review

‘The Tokaidochu Hizakurige’ is a fascinating departure from traditional epics, offering readers a delightful comedic novel penned by the witty and innovative author, Jippensha Ikku. Set against the backdrop of the Tôkaidô route, a famous road connecting Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and Kyoto, this novel takes readers on a journey filled with humor, satire, and an unconventional narrative structure. Through its characters’ misadventures and Ikku’s unique storytelling style, the novel presents a vivid picture of life during the Edo period in Japan.

Narrative Structure:

The novel breaks away from the conventions of traditional epics by adopting a diary-like narrative structure. The story is presented as a series of interconnected episodes chronicling the travels and escapades of two protagonists, Yajirobei and Kitahachi, as they journey from Edo to Kyoto. This episodic approach enables Ikku to explore a diverse range of scenarios and interactions, each offering its own comedic value. The episodic structure also mirrors the episodic nature of life itself, capturing the essence of a journey with its unexpected twists and turns.

Humor and Satire:

Ikku’s masterful use of humor and satire is a cornerstone of the novel’s charm. Through the characters’ humorous antics and interactions with the people they encounter along the way, the author skillfully highlights the quirks and absurdities of Edo society. From their dubious get-rich-quick schemes to their comical misunderstandings, Yajirobei and Kitahachi provide readers with a lens through which to view the idiosyncrasies of the time. Ikku’s wit and observational humor create a light-hearted atmosphere, making the novel a delightful read for those who appreciate satirical comedy.

Social Commentary:

Beneath the laughter-inducing escapades lies a layer of social commentary. ‘The Tôkaidôchû Hizakurige’ offers insights into the hierarchical and class-based society of the Edo period. The encounters between the protagonists and people from various walks of life provide glimpses into the challenges faced by different social strata. Ikku cleverly navigates these societal nuances while maintaining the novel’s humorous tone, allowing readers to reflect on the parallels between the past and present.


The characters of Yajirobei and Kitahachi are not your typical epic heroes; rather, they are flawed, bumbling individuals whose quirks and flaws make them endearing. Yajirobei, the optimistic dreamer, and Kitahachi, the more skeptical and grounded of the two, play off each other’s personalities to create a dynamic and entertaining duo. Their contrasting viewpoints add depth to their interactions and contribute to the novel’s overall comedic effect.

Cultural Significance:

‘The Tôkaidôchû Hizakurige’ also holds cultural significance as it captures the spirit of the Edo period, a time of stability and isolation in Japan. The novel provides readers with a window into the daily lives, customs, and traditions of the era, enriching our understanding of historical Japan.

In conclusion, ‘The Tôkaidôchû Hizakurige’ is a comedic gem that defies the conventions of traditional epics, offering readers a humorous and insightful journey through Edo-period Japan. Jippensha Ikku’s unique narrative style, wit, and satire create a memorable reading experience that showcases the absurdities of society while inviting readers to ponder its intricacies. This novel remains a testament to the power of humour as a lens through which we can explore history and human nature. 0 0 0

The Tokaidochu Hizakurige Jippensha Ikku A Review

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N.B. The article ‘The Tokaidochu Hizakurige Jippensha Ikku A Review’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘The Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World Vol-II‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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