|Budget Amount *help
¥1,900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,900,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,100,000)
Firstly, it was in 1830s that the category of popular and story-telling songs was established. Kankan-no (かんかんのう), together with Kyurenkan (九連環), a Chinese folk song, pioneered this category. Kankan-no became very popular among. the masses with its so comical melody as to win the hearts of masses, which brought many parodies and funny dances.
Secondly, it was in 1853 that KATSURA kodanji, a famous kabuki actor then, innovated Otsue-bushi (大津絵節) into a highly attractive popular song by singing it in his kabuki play. UTAGAWA kuniyoshi, a painter, soon published an Otsue (大津絵) caricaturing Shogun TOKUGAWA Iesada and his government, which provoked great excitement among the masses. Accordingly, there appeared a lot of Yomiuri-men (読売), who sold the Otsue prints singing. Otsue-bushi as explanation for the Otsue. Therefore, Otsue-bushi occupied the primary, position in the category of popular and story-telling songs, surpassing Yanre-kudoki-bushi (ヤンレ口説き節) which had enjoyed the primary reputation for long.
Thirdly, FUKUDA Hideko and her mother Umeko made another innovation on the Otsue-bushi so as to change it into a tool for inspiring the mass movement. In 1880s, the movement for liberty and the human rights (自由民権運動) prevailed in 1880s. Through FUKUDA Hideko's effort, Otsue-bushi increased its variety of roles as to be fitful for political propaganda.
Fourthly, the Otsue-bushi for liberty and the human rights (民権大津絵節) lived only for short because the mass movement ended soon after the innovation had been done by FUKUDA Hideko. However, Otsue-bushi continued to be loved by the masses and remained as a popular folk song with many kind of parodies. Naniwa-bushi (浪花節) tellers, who succeeded in obtaining the primary position in this category then, cleverly utilized some parts of its melody, which enabled them to keep their vitality for a half century thereafter.