Maneki-age Heralds Arrival of Year's EndGanjiro's Joy at Minamiza Theater25 November 2015 - Tradition/Culture
Prior to Kyoto's year-end highlight, "Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo," or the year-end Kabuki performance, the traditional event "Maneki-age," where huge wooden boards called "Maneki Kanban" are set up, was held in front of the Minamiza Theater in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, on November 25. Maneki boards, on which performers' names are written, including "Ganjiro Nakamura," a famous Kabuki name which is awarded successively and whose current namesake is from Kyoto City, were installed.
In the task performed before dawn on that day, craftsmen mounted cypress boards one by one into the "Takeyarai," or the lattice bamboo fence surrounding the theater's main entrance, while fine-tuning their positions. Just after 9:00 a.m., the final board with the name of Ganjiro Nakamura was attached. A total of 55 Kabuki stars' names, including popular ones such as Tojuro Sakata, Nizaemon Kataoka and others, were lined up and the theater has been fully decorated for the year-end season.
Ganjiro greeted Kabuki fans and spectators who gathered there and looked up at his own Maneki board, saying with a broad smile, "I have really been looking forward to this occasion. I am happy, even a little overjoyed." He then enthusiastically expressed his aspirations, saying, "I want to show my joy perfectly in the Kabuki performances."
The Kaomise performance is from November 30 to December 26.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)