Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
The Kabuki stage
Suppon
Suppon is a small Seri located near the section where the Hanamichi joins the stage. The Suppon is used for unreal roles such as ghosts, apparitions, spirits of animals or sorcerers, and effectively gives the impression that those characters have suddenly appeared. The name Suppon (terrapin) is said to have been given to this Seri because seeing an actor rising up reminded people of a soft-shelled turtle thrusting its head out of its shell.
This video clip shows Nikki Danjo appearing from the Suppon in the 'Yukashita' scene of "Meiboku sendaihagi." Because Nikki Danjo uses rat magic, he appears from the Suppon.
 
 

Nikki Danjo played by Matsumoto Koshiro 9th, "Meiboku sendaihagi" 'Ashikagake yukashita' scene, November 1998
 
The Suppon is now moved up and down by electricity, but in the Edo period it was moved by human power as shown in the picture below.
 
Edo-period Suppon being moved by human power ("Shibai kimmou zui")
 
 
 
> "Yoshitsune sembonzakura" 'Michiyuki hatsune no tabi' scene
  Scene in which Sato Tadanobu (actually Genkurogitsune) appears
 
•  "Shinobiyoru koi wa kusemono"
  [Common name: "Masakado"]
  Scene in which Keisei Kisaragi (actually Takiyashahime) appears