Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Expression in Kabuki
Mie (poses)
Mie means making a pose and standing still during acting, to express the rising of feelings. This has the effect of having a close-up on that person. In many cases, the Tsuke (sound effect using clappers) called Battari is heard at the moment of the Mie. Mie are mainly done by Tachiyaku (actors playing virtuous men), although the expression of Mie varies depending on the characteristics of roles and the content of each work.
In an Aragoto role, the actor swings his head with large movements, takes a big step with one foot, and/or spreads his hands widely just before the Mie (pose) in order to show the pose effectively.
Wakashuyaku (actors playing young men's roles) and actors in Sewamono roles express a Mie by a small movement, just a gentle pull of the chin.
 
The image shows an Omie (big pose) in Makugire (end of act). The Tsuke clappers are sounds very quickly, but not loudly, then the volume starts to increase, with loud claps during the actual Mie. At that moment, all actors in major roles centering around the leading-role actor simultaneously do Mie. This is called "Uchiage no Mie." The words "omie o kiru" (strike a pose), which mean acting as if one is confident and doing exaggerated speaking and actions, used as idiomatic expressions come from Kabuki.
Other than the above, there are a few more Mie with names.
"Uchiage no Mie" in Makugire Soma Taro played by Ichikawa Ennosuke 3rd, "Shitenno momiji no edoguma" 'Momijigachaya' scene, October 1996
To view video clip
< RealPlayer : 2.5MB >
 
Genroku Mie, one of the typical Aragoto Mie Umeoumaru played by Nakamura Kankuro 5th (Nakamura Kanzaburo 18th), "Sugawara denju tenarai kagami" 'Yoshidasha kurumabiki' scene, December 1981
The photograph shows one of the typical Aragoto Mie, called "Genroku Mie." Others are the "Ishinage no Mie" done in "Kanjincho" and the "Hashira maki no Mie" done in "Narukami."
 
 
 
 
 
RealPlayer RealPlayer is necessary to view animation. If you do not have RealPlayer, click on the logo at left to download it.