Типы персонажей в произведении Дзиппэнся Икку «То:кайдо:тю: хидзакуригэ»
The problem of the classification of numerous characters in Jippensha Ikku’s Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige, one of the prominent works of kokkeibon (“funny books”), a genre of entertaining literature gesaku, is raised in the article. Typical features of the characters, whose comical interaction is the main motive of the narration, altogether with their primary functions are the objects of the research. The system of the characters is perceived here as one of the most significant factors of the literary work’s popularity, taking into consideration the fact that Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige was one of the first gesaku bestsellers of such scale. All the characters are divided into three groups, namely, the protagonists, the “wandering” characters, and the “provincial” characters, among which smaller categories are pointed out. The protagonists are typical edokko, the citizens of the capital, who despise provincial traditions and are concentrated on sensuous pleasures. A narration developed around the journey of two male characters is a typical literary device for the traditional Japanese travel literature, however, compared to his literary predecessors, Ikku shows some new tendencies as well. The comical interaction of the main characters varies and takes place mainly in the form of “situational comedy”, or kyōgen. The “wandering” characters are presented by such categories as transportation sphere’s characters, swindlers, travelers, religious characters, warriors. Each category has its own features and functions, for instance, swindlers stimulate the narration’s flow as well as cause comical situations, whereas religious characters smooth out the conflicts between the protagonists and other characters. The same is also relevant for the “provincial” characters, who are represented by the staff of post station inns, traders, owners of tea houses, and provincial residents. Girls from the inns create the special atmosphere of Hizakurige and introduce new locations into the narration, while traders present the famous products of various provinces. The main points of analysis are illustrated with the fragments of the original text, translated by the author of the article.