Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
The Kabuki stage
Hanamichi
Hanamichi is the passage that extends at right angle to the Hombutai from its Shimote side, passing through the audience seating area to the Agemaku; it is used mainly for actors' entrances and exits.
 
 

Narukami Shonin played by Ichikawa Danjuro 12th, "Narukami fudo kitayamazakura" 'Kitayama iwaya' scene ["Narukami"], January 1996
 
The Hanamichi becomes various places such as a road, corridor, sea or river bank according to the scenes being performed on the Hombutai. Because audience members are close to the Hanamichi it gives them a sense of intimacy. The name Hanamichi (flower path) may have been used because it was where audience members presented actors with gratuities called "hana," or because it functions as a roadway for actors who are dressed as beautifully as flowers. There are various theories, and no clear reason has been found for this name.

Originally, Kabuki stages were built in imitation of Noh stages, so the section called Hashigakari (passageway) was constructed on the Shimote side of the square Hombutai. However, as the stage changed, the Hashigakari was absorbed by the Hombutai, and the Hanamichi, passing through the audience seating area, was said to have been designed as a substitute for the Hashigakari.

The video shows the Makugire (ending) of the 'Kitayama iwaya' scene ["Narukami"] of "Narukami fudo kitayamazakura," and the dramatic technique in which Narukami Shonin makes a Roppo exit on the Hanamichi. This Roppo is a typical example of dramatic techniques that make effective use of the Hanamichi.

Also, depending on the repertoire, a Kari(temporary) -hanamichi is sometimes set up on the Kamite side opposite the Hon(ordinary) -hanamichi.
 
 
 
> "Kanjincho"
  "Tobiroppo" by Benkei in Makugire
 
> "Sukeroku yukari no edozakura"
  "Deha," the scene in which Sukeroku appears
 
> "Imoseyama onna teikin" 'Yoshinogawa' scene
  Dramatic technique in which the 2 Hanamichi, the Hon-hanamichi and Kari-hanamichi, are likened to the 2 banks of a river