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花道 はなみち



A unique element of the kabuki stage. The hanamichi is a permanent runway extension of the stage that runs perpendicular to the stage through the audience on the left side of the house (as one faces the stage). This elevated passageway is primarily used for the entrances and exits of important characters and lively groups, for example groups of retainers to an important character. Highlight moments are enacted at the section of the hanamichi near the stage called the shichisan, where principal actors often stop to deliver important speeches or to express significant situations physically. At such moments, they speak sometimes as character and sometimes as actor in a kind of direct address to the audience (for example, see tsurane). Two other important parts of the hanamichi are the suppon (the trap at the shichisan) and the agemaku (the hanamichi curtain at the back of the house). Some plays also call for a temporary hanamichi (karihanamichi) on the right side of the house. (KSL)