B08 Aragoto and Kumadori, Actors and Emblems
Ō-Edo shibai nenjū gyōji "Batsuri Chōchin"
Ōban, Colour print
Artist: Adachi Ginkō; Published: Meiji 30 (1897) by Hasegawa Sumi
Ritsumeikan Art Research Center (arcUP2055)
During the kaomise production, paper lanterns (batsuri chōchin) hung throughout the theatre above the house and stage, creating a splendid and special atmosphere. Written on them were the actors' names with their crests. In the Kamigata region (Ōsaka and Kyoto), patrons gave them as gifts.
In the picture, we can view the goings-on in the boxes (sajiki) through the gathered draw curtain which hangs under the lanterns, stage right. The actor depicted is Ichikawa Danjūrō, caught at the moment when he stops at the seven-three spot (shichisan) on the hanamichi walkway and is about to declaim his self-introduction speech (tsurane) in the play Shibaraku. He is costumed in his persimmon-colored robe with the large mimasu crest of three concentric squares. Opening out his sleeves to allow the crest to fully show, and with the unique kabuki make-up known as kumadori and extravagant special wig (itabin), he exhibits the essence of aragoto.