Jugemu (寿限無?) is a Japanese folktale and is one of the most famous stories in rakugo, a form of Japanese spoken entertainment. It has a simple storyline, with the most humorous part being the repetition of a ridiculously long name. It is often used in training sessions for Rakugo entertainers.
In the tale, a couple could not think of a suitable name for their newborn baby boy, and so the father went to the temple and asked the chief priest to think of an auspicious name. The priest suggested several names, beginning with Jugemu. The father could not decide which name he preferred and, therefore, gave the baby all of the names. One day, Jugemu got into a fight with a friend, and the friend suffers a large bump on his head, so he goes crying to Jugemu's parents, but due to the amount of time it takes to recite his name, the bump on his head disappears.
One other version of the legend states that one day, Jugemu fell into a lake, and his parents barely arrived in time to save him as everyone who had to pass along the news had to spend a lot of time reciting his entire name.
Jugemu's full name is:
- Jugemu Jugemu (寿限無、寿限無?)
- Gokō-no surikire (五劫の擦り切れ?)
- Kaijarisuigyo-no (海砂利水魚の?)
- Suigyōmatsu Unraimatsu Fūraimatsu (水行末 雲来末 風来末?)
- Kuunerutokoro-ni Sumutokoro (食う寝る処に住む処?)
- Yaburakōji-no burakōji (やぶら小路の藪柑子?)
- Paipopaipo Paipo-no-shūringan (パイポパイポ パイポのシューリンガン?)
- Shūringan-no Gūrindai (シューリンガンのグーリンダイ?)
- Gūrindai-no Ponpokopī-no Ponpokonā-no (グーリンダイのポンポコピーのポンポコナーの?)
- Chōkyūmei-no Chōsuke (長久命の長助?)
- Literally "limitless life".
- Go kō no surikire
- Literally "five kō (totaling 20 billion years) of rubbing off (the rock)". In Japanese legend, a heavenly maiden will visit the human world every three thousand years, leaving friction marks on a rock with her dress. It takes five kō or five times 4 billion years to split up the rock with the rubbing. The priest blesses the child to live that long.
- Kaijari suigyo
- Literally "gravels in the sea and fish in water". The number of gravels and fish in the world is supposed to represent the number of the child's luck and fortune.
- Literally "where water eventually goes". Because water is free to go anywhere, the child is blessed with boundless well-being wherever he goes.
- Literally "where clouds originally come". Because clouds come from anywhere, this is similar to the above.
- Literally "where wind originally comes". Similar to the above.
- Literally "places to eat and sleep". It is fortunate to be free from hunger and shelterlessness.
- Literally "places to live". Same as above.
- Yaburakōji-no burakōji
- Literally "Ardisia japonica bushes in Yabura Trail". The plant's modern Japanese name is yabukōji, also known as spearflower, and it is considered to be imbued with energy year-round. "Yabura" has no obvious meaning but may be from yabukōji shortened with the pluralizing ra.
- Paipo, Shūringan, Gūrindai, Ponpokopī, Ponpokonā
- These are invented names of a kingdom and the royal family in ancient China. Paipo was a rich and peaceful kingdom, where King Shūringan and his queen Gūrindai reigned. They gave birth to Princess Ponpokopī and Princess Ponpokonā, and all of them enjoyed longevity. These names, while not sounding particularly Chinese, sound foreign even to Japanese, and can be seen as satirical towards the complexity of classical Chinese names.
- Literally "long and lasting life".
- Literally "blessed for a long time".
Lakitu, the cloud-riding turtle-dropping enemy character of the Super Mario Bros. video game series is called Jugemu in Japanese versions of the game. In a similar reference, the eggs Lakitu drop, which turn into Spinies, are referred to as Paipo in Japan, despite only being referred to as "Spiny's Eggs" or "Spiny Eggs" in English.
Jugemu (#40) is a colossal underground monster appearing to be only a tiny twig with a single leaf on the surface in the video game Star Ocean: Blue Sphere.
In a 4-Koma Theater for the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, nameless "Scar" character reveals he shares his name with Jugemu in a yonkoma; King Bradley then reveals that it happens to be his real name. They continue saying it while preparing for battle, until "Scar" bites his tongue.
A monkey with a similar name appears in several episodes of Gintama'.
Lucy from Servant x Service also shares the similar fate as Jugemu (having a long name with a similar origin) and when she first reveals her name her co-workers remark that she's a "modern day Jugemu Jugemu".
British comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus aired a similar sketch involving an overly long name being repeated multiple times; it was centered on an alleged musical program presenting a biography of a German baroque composer named "Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schiltter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumeraber-shönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm." Each time the name is said, the speaker is compelled to say it to its completion, much like Jugemu. The sketch begins with Graham Chapman as host Arthur Figgis, who introduces the program and says Johann's full name twice before introducing his only surviving relative Carl; as he continues to say Carl's name, he is interrupted when the camera cuts to the interview with Carl himself (Terry Jones). Due to his age, Carl struggles to say Johann's full name, as well as that of his wife Sharon, before John Cleese, the interviewer, interrupts and asks him "just quickly" if there are any specific memories he has of Johann. However, due to the length of time it takes to say Johann's name twice, Carl dies before the interviewer has a chance to finish. The interviewer drops the microphone and promptly begins to dig a grave for Carl, as Chapman and numerous other characters say Johann's full name once more.
"寿限無". 古典落語109. Retrieved 17 January 2012.