Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
The Kabuki stage
Mawaributai (revolving stage)
The Mawaributai stage mechanism turns the part of the floor of the stage center that is cut out in a large-diameter circle. Scene changes can be done smoothly by rotating the circular section of the stage on which sets for 2 or 3 scenes have been erected. The Mawaributai can change sets in full view of the audience, and it effectively increases the visual appeal of scene changes. The Mawaributai, a unique Kabuki stage mechanism, was first used in theaters outside Japan after the Meiji period.

The Mawaributai was invented in Osaka in 1758 by Namiki Shoza, a Kyogen-sakusha, inspired by a spinning top. At present, Mawaributai are moved by electric power, but in the olden days, Mawaributai were moved manually by the power of people in the Naraku.
 
Mawaributai being moved by human power in Edo period ("Shibai kimmou zui") Mawaributai
 
 
 
 
> > "Tokaido yotsuya kaidan"
  'Iemon rotaku' scene
'Ito kihe taku' scene
'Moto no iemon rotaku' scene
Scenes of neighboring houses are speedily changed to match the pace at which people move
 
> "Heike nyogonoshima"
  Common name: "Shunkan"
  In the Makugire (ending), the entire surface of the stage is made into the sea by rotating the Mawaributai, to emphasize Shunkan's feeling of the impermanence and mutability of human life as he poses alone on the rocks.
 
> "Shimpan utazaimon" 'Nozakimura' scene
  The entire house in which the heroine Omitsu resides is rotated by the Mawaributai, changing to a scene showing the back of her house.