Nezumi Kozo the Robber in Eko-in Temple

Nezumi Kozo whose real name is Jirokichi Nakamura is perhaps the most famous Japanese robber and hero who lived in Edo, the fomer Tokyo during the late 18th and early 19th century.  He commited the robbery in various samurai‘s residences in Tokyo and was finally captured in 1831 when he was executed.  It as believed that he went into only samurai‘s places which was a symbol of the power and that the money he stole was donated to those in poverty.  Because of this rumor, Nezumi Kozo became the legend in Edo and was became a popular character in Kabuki performances.

Kodanji Ichikawa IV as Nezumi-kozō Jirokichi.jpg
By 三代目歌川豐國 / Toyokuni Utagawa III, Public Domain, Link

His grave is in Eko-in Temple in Ryogoku which I wrote about in my previous post.

Tomb stone read August 18, Tempo 3-nen which means year 1832.  His name Jirokichi Nakamura was also curved.  According to Wikipedia, he was arrested in that year and was executed on Aubust 19 – so I don’t know why the tomb stone says August 18.  In front of the tomb stone, there is another white stone and there are many worshippers who are grinding the stone.  Since Nezumi Kozo had not been captured for a long period of time, people believed that he had a luck and that you could also gain luck if you grind his tomb stone.  Of course, this white stone is replaced from time to time.


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