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Tuesday, 26th November 2013
In Events In Japan,

Minamiza Theatre announces kabuki actors

The actors who will be starring in the year-end performances at Kyoto's Minamiza Theatre were announced in the traditional manner yesterday (November 25th ), with press clamouring outside the venue to grab the first scoop on the news.

In the much-anticipated conference, the individual name of each and every single player - painted onto a two-metre board made out of cypress wood - was hoisted carefully upwards and attached to the exterior theatre wall by workers on scaffolding.

The spectacle completes the Minamiza Theatre's distinct look, with the maneki boards representing hope that the theatre's auditorium will be packed with keen audience members year in and year out.

Following the completion of the maneki raising at around 9am, workers tossed purifying salt in prayer for for the performance's success.

Among the 61 names hoisted into place, theatregoers noted that this year will be the first for kabuki actors Ichikawa Eno the second, Ichikawa Ennosuke the fourth and Ichikawa Chusha the ninth since they inherited their stage names.

Theatre fanatics were especially pleased to see that popular veterans Ichikawa Ennosuke and Ichikawa Chusha were announced, with their name boards inciting cheers and applause in the crowd.

Kyoto's Minamiza Theatre is an established venue for performances of kabuki, an art form that combines dance with acting to create an outrageous showmanship that is often based on the plot of a real historical event.

Warm-hearted dramas often feature, as well as moral conflicts and love stories.

Tourists are sure to be drawn by the dynamic stage sets, elaborately designed costumes, outlandish wigs and fantastic makeup.

Japan has a thriving theatrical scene, with long-running stints from Western favourites The Lion King and Wicked recorded in Tokyo and other cities across the country, as well as the more traditional art forms such as kabuki.

Written by Susan Ballion

Related news stories:
Traditional 'hagoita' fair gets underway (18th December 2013)
Tokyo to celebrate arts festival (30th October 2013)
Kabuki legend receives prestigious award (10th November 2011)