Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Expression in Kabuki
Expression of various roles
Here, the expression "Sono yaku rashisa" (looks like that role) is explained based on actual roles. Click on each of the following photographs.
Umeoumaru Izaemon Sekimori Sekibe (actually Otomo Kuronushi) Sogano Iruka Kamiyui Shinza Sato Tadanobu (actually Genkurogitsune) Miuraya Agemaki Yaegakihime Kirare Otomi
Yaegakihime played by Nakamura Tokizo 5th,"Honcho nijushiko" 'Nagao kenshin yakata jushuko' scene, March 2005
"Honcho nijushiko" Common name 'jushuko' scene
Yaegakihime is a princess, the daughter of Nagao Kenshin, a Sengoku-period feudal lord. She feel in love with Minosaku, who looks just like her fiance Takeda Katsuyori [in fact, he is Katsuyori, who is alive].
Role Akahime
The standard costume for hime (princesses) is a furisode (long-sleeved kimono) with matching uchikake (long outer garment) embroidered with various patterns such as the flowers of the four seasons, the shapes of clouds, or fans scattered on running water, using gold and silver threads on red fabric for both layers of the costume. This costume set is called "Akahime," which has also become the common name of the princess role. Red color represents the cuteness and innocence of the princess.
Acting Unique aspects of Akahime acting
When an Akahime is sitting, she poses by holding both hands up near her chest as if to show off her long sleeves, and stretches hands out to the sides. This is the standard form. Also, as much as possible, her fingers should not protrude from the sleeves. This is considered the part of mannerisms of this role. These are ideas which show gracefulness and also hide the hands of the Onnagata, who is acted by male.
Katsura (wig) Fukiwa
Fukiwa is the typical wig used for princess roles. An ornament called tsuzumi is inserted into the mage (chignon) and silver hana-kanzashi (flowery ornamental hairpins) are attached to the front of the chignon to make it gorgeous. Hairs swatches called Himejike, hanging down on both sides by the ears have the effect of making the actor's erimoto (neck) look slim.