後ろの正面 (behind you [Kagome Kagome])

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Click to enlarge.

Title:

後ろの正面 (ushiro no shōmen)
Behind You (Kagome Kagome)

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This piece depicts a game called “Behind You” (ushiro no shōmen), also known as Kagome Kagome (bird in the basket/cage). In this popular Japanese children’s game, one person is selected to be the oni (ogre), and must sit with their hands covering their eyes or blindfolded. The other players, who represent human children, hold hands and circle around the oni player, singing:

The bird in the basket/cage, (Kagome Kagome)

When, oh when will it come out
In the night of dawn
The crane and turtle slipped
Who is behind you now?

When the song ends, the oni player must guess who is standing directly behind them. Hiroi-sensei plays with the image of the oni in the middle; instead of showing an oni surrounded by human children, he represents all the players as oni, with the figure in the middle as a large parent oni being circled by its children. When you spin the top above the central oni, it makes the oni below move and spin.

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Hiroi Michiaki: And this… ahh, this is called “Behind You,”* that “It’s Behind You!” children-

Mrs. Hiroi: Children play it.

Hiroi: —play it; it’s a type of game from long ago. You pick someone to be an oni (ogre) [in the middle], and the oni’s children are playing [around them]. And the oni parent covers their eyes, and if you spin this, the oni spins around and around, and this turns while it spins. And while singing you do it like this, and an older girl says, “Who’s behind you?!” and everyone suddenly stops. And the oni will name who’s in front of them, like “It’s so-and-so!” and the others go “You got it! [Or] you’re wrong!” It’s a children’s game. I’ve made them oni, so, it’s not the normal children [in the game, where only the one in the middle is an oni], but [now] an oni and oni children.

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