Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Expression in Kabuki
Kabuki maku (curtains)
Various kinds of maku (curtains) are effectively used on the Kabuki stage. Curtains with distinctive uses in the aspect of dramatic techniques are explained here.
Asagimaku (pale blue curtain)
Moment of Furiotoshi (dropping of curtain onto stage floor)
Asagimaku is a curtain of bright pale blue called asagi-iro, It is used for both "Furiotoshi" (shake down to reveal) and "Furikabuse" (shake down to conceal). Furiotoshi is the dramatic technique of making the stage instantly visible by dropping the curtain previously hung to conceal stage. When the stage is visible and the curtain is dropped from the ceiling to instantly conceal the stage, the dramatic technique is called Furikabuse.
Dogumaku (stage set curtain)
Namimaku (wave curtain)
Dogumaku are stage set curtains on which actual scenery is painted. "Namimaku" (wave curtain), "Yamamaku" (mountain curtain) and "Ajiromaku" (wall curtain) are representative of these types of curtains. Many of these curtains are used to draw the attention of the audience while the stage is set for the next scene. In some cases, a crowd of people played by actors of the Shidashi (walk-on) rank appear in front of curtain, and explain by their dialogue what has happened in the story so far and the setting of the scene soon to start.
Keshimaku (disappearing curtain)
Keshimaku are used to hide the exits of the dramatis personae supposedly killed on stage. A red felt cloth is used in Jidaimono that depict the world of bushi (samurai) and black cloth is used in Sewamono describing the world of chonin (commoners).
Kasumimaku (mist curtain)
Kasumimaku (mist curtain)
Kasumimaku is used to hide Takemoto and Kiyomoto musicians on stage while they are not performing and to conceal their entrances and exits. A Kasumimaku is made of white cloth painted with pale blue clouds that look like kasumi (mist), giving it its name.