Kyōgen: Traditional entertainment in Muromachi period (1333-1568)

Kyōgen (狂言) is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater, developed alongside Noh, a traditional play which entertained the shogunate and the warrior lords in Muromachi period (1333-1568).

Kyōgen plays are invariably brief – often about 10 minutes, as traditionally performed between acts of Noh – and often contain only two or three roles.

Also the kyogen plays are mostly comedies. Sometimes, the persons with disabilities play a main role in the play.

One of the kyogen is related to the persons with disabilities is titled "The Three Disabled Men" (三人片輪).

One rich merchant advertised in order to  employ a disabled person. A blind man, a man with physical impairment, and a Deaf-mute man came to the merchant.

Actually, these three men were gamblers who lost money from the gamble, and they behaved as if they were disabled.

The merchant, unaware of who actually they were, ordered them to guard the clothing storehouse, the sake cellar, and the vault, respectively, before he went out on business.

Then, the three men decided to drink what they liked in the sake cellar and steal money in the vault to gamble once more.

They got drunk and danced, completely forgetting that they played as a disabled man. When the master came back home, the men got back in a flurry to act like the disabled person, but their plan was then disclosed. These panicked men run away.

This comic play with old terms is so inappropriate and discriminatory that some of the Noh groups rarely perform it nowadays.

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