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
Komori Yasu played by Ichikawa Danshiro 4th and Kirare Otomi by Sawamura Sojuro 9th, "Musumegonomi ukina no yokogushi" 'Akamaya okuzashiki' scene, January1992
Kirare Otomi
"Musumegonomi ukina no yokogushi"
Otomi is going to extort money in order to help Yosaburo who was once her lover. Otomi performs a Tachimawari (fighting scene) while holding a carving knife.
Role Akuba
Akuba is a woman who does evil things such as extortion for the person she loves, and who swings edged weapons to fight. Originally, Onnagata did not perform villains' roles, but the Akuba role type was established by Iwai Hanshiro 5th, active in the Bunka/Bunsei periods [1804-1830]. The distinction of this role type is the chic and crisp way of speaking. Charm and female sex appeal are required for this role.
Costume Benkei-goshi pattern
Otomi's costume represents a Sewamono character, so the characteristics of the role are expressed by its pattern. The Benkei-goshi pattern gives a chic impression. In many cases the Akuba character wears this costume when she attempts extortion.
Benkei-goshi costumes are used for roles other than Akuba, such as Igami no Gonta in "Yoshitsune sembonzakura," but the size of the koshi (lattice) pattern varies according to each character.
Katsura (wig) Uma no shippo (horse tail)
This wig style was named "Uma no shippo" because the hair, casually bundled on the back of head, resembles the tail of a horse. This casual hairstyle expresses the character of the Akuba, who is mannish, commits extortion, and does Tachimawari (fighting scenes).