G05 Theatre Critique in Meiji Period

"Haiyu hyobanki" Second chapter
Reviewer: Rokuniren 版型:半紙半裁横本
Published: December, 1879 (Meiji 12)
Ritsumeikan Shirakaba Collection(shiBK03-0138)

 Although "Yakusha hyobanki" (actor critique) were published in almost every year from the beginning of 18th century by Hachimonji-ya publisher and its successors, it terminated along with the end of Edo period. After that until 1878, a complete version of "Yakusha hyobanki" were published by different publishers and different reviewers in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Kanazawa.
After that period, "Haiyu hyobanki" (actor critique) reviewed by Rokuniren came up and lasted from November 1878(Meiji 11) to December 1886(Maiji 19) in 27 volumes. The major pronunciation of the title "俳優" was still "Yakusha" (a general term for actor used in Edo actor critiques), while depending on an occasion "Haiyu" (relatively modern word means actor) was also used, the critique intended to be a successor of "Yakusha hyobanki" in Edo period. In addition to the title, it still kept some characteristics of "Yakusha hyobanki", such as the style of book binding, black cover and oblong Japanese binding, and actors index and brief reviews with ranking and an unique metaphors called "Mitate" (lit. looked as).
"Rokuniren" was a rich audience group occupied the best position to enjoy the stage, 2 section from the stage and 6 from the right stage seen from the audience. "Danjyuro jijii" (lit. Dnajyuro's old guys) was a slang or jargon for the group, including a calligrapher Baiso Gengyo and his apprentice Takasu Koen, used among Kabuki fans.
"Kabuki shinpo" was contemporary actor critique of "Haiyu hyobanki", reviewed by Miki Takeji and Aeba Koson was written in a form of critiques in a news paper, on the other hand, the characteristics of "Haiyu hyobanki" published reviews written by kabuki connoisseur. (,)