B07 Emblems and Patterns Related to Actors
Ō-Edo shibai nenjū gyōji "Gakuya iri"
Ōban, Colour print
Artist: Adachi Ginkō; Published: Meiji 30 (1897) by Hasegawa Sumi
Ritsumeikan Art Research Center (arcUP2051)
Actors arriving at the theatre to prepare for their performances entered through the stage door where fans in all their finery awaited them (gakuya iri). Theatre escorts - from the ranks of doormen (kidoban) or the men who performed bits of the current program in front of the theatre to attract passersby (kidogeisha) - accompanied top-level actors on visits to fans. They relied on gratuities from the fans and actors to make a living, and wore clothing given them by the troupe leader and lead female-role actor. When accompanying actors, their clothing was adorned with the crest and characteristic patterns worn by the actors they escorted, and they took every trouble to project a lavish appearance.