Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Expression in Kabuki
Expression by actors
Myoseki and Yago Actors' crests Ie no gei Kata
 
Elements on the Kabuki stage are not just the expressions of roles and scenes. There are also expressions of which it can be said, "Sono haiyu rashisa" (behaving in that actor's charactor), that make the actor's family line and the actor himself more notable in various parts.
 
This is because historically in Kabuki the actors themselves have been considered very important from 2 viewpoints: Kabuki performance and the inheritance of art.
In the Edo period, when the number of audience members dropped, theaters could not attract kinshu [financial backers], and this affected the continuation of Kabuki performances. Therefore, people involved with Kabuki performances made efforts to attract larger audiences by greatly increasing the popularity of actors. Even when creating a new play, the Kyogen-sakusha [writers of plays exclusively for Kabuki] focused on making the most of the charm of actors and pleasing audiences, and sometimes the story lines were sacrificed to achieve this.
The art of Kabuki has been passed down from father to son, from master to apprentice. Therefore, each generation of actors has been devoting their energy to bringing up strong successors who will inherit their art.
This is the reason why individual actors and the family lines of actors were considered important.

Let's look at concrete expressions which clearly show the unique way in which Kabuki glorifies its actors.
Pattern designed with motifs of the crests and arts of the Ichikawa Danjuro family [Ichikawa Danjuro 7th is at center] ("Naritaya shiire shingata")