Recently, performing primates have made a big comeback in Japanese show business, thanks mainly to the Nikko Saru Gundan (Nikko Monkey Army), and the human/monkey comedy team Taro-Jiro. Both acts are the latest additions to the traditional Japanese performance art known as saru-tsukai, which almost died out in the latter part of the 20th century.

Saru-tsukai normally uses Japanese macaques, but Momo-chan, a trained performing chimpanzee, is also A superstar. Momo-chan, who hails from Nasu, in Tochigi Prefecture (where the Nikko Saru Gundan also lives), seems to have it better than her toiling macaque cousins. She is allowed to walk about freely without a leash.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.