Kabuki Actors' Names Written on Boards for Year-end Performance in Kyoto"Ganjiro" Appears Again in Vigorous Kantei-ryu Style10 November 2015 - Tradition/Culture
Prior to Kyoto's December highlight, "Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo," or the year-end Kabuki performance held in Kyoto Minamiza Theater in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, "Maneki-gaki" or the annual event to write actors' names on name boards, was held in Myodenji Temple, Sakyo Ward, on November 10. The names of the Kabuki actors who will appear on stage were vividly inscribed with black ink on the "Maneki-kamban," or name boards. The names include "Ganjiro Nakamura," a famed name of Kabuki from the Kyoto-Osaka area which is awarded successively, among other names.
The name boards are roofed, rectangular cypress planks that are roughly 1.8 meters long and about 30 centimeters wide. In the workplace at the guest hall of the same temple, Masaru Inoue, the calligrapher who has been in charge since last year, soaked his brush in special ink mixed with sake for the purpose of purification and glossing, and wrote the names, including "Ganjiro" for the first time in 11 years, as well as "Tojuro Sakata" and others, with strong strokes in "Kantei-ryu" characters, or a unique Kabuki-dedicated, roundish, bold font.
Inoue radiantly said, "I wrote them with the hope of attracting a full house this year, too." There are about 50 name boards this year and they will be installed in front of the theater in the "Maneki-age" event held on the morning of November 25. Performances will start on November 30.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)