"Maneki-age" for Year-end Kabuki Performance at MINAMIZA TheaterEnnosuke Ichikawa Expresses Aspirations25 November 2013 - Tradition/Culture
Prior to Kyoto's year-end highlight "Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo," or the year-end Kabuki performance held from November 30 to December 26, the annual "Maneki-age," an event where huge wooden boards called "Maneki Kanban" are raised, was held on November 25. The boards feature the names of Kabuki performers appearing in the show, including Ennosuke Ichikawa who will make his debut after succeeding to his predecessor's stage name, and were placed over the front of the MINAMIZA Theater in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto.
The construction of "Takeyarai," or the lattice bamboo fence surrounding the theater's main entrance, started before dawn. Craftsmen carefully mounted a total of 61 boards one by one, while fine-tuning their positions. As the final board with the name of Tojuro Sakata was attached just after 9:00 a.m., forming an array of east and west Kabuki stars' names, the theater finished its preparations for the year-end.
Ennosuke greeted fans in front of the theater and expressed his aspirations, saying, "We want to do our best so that audience will be able to say it was a wonderful performance." He then performed a hand-clapping prayer for a successful performance along with the crowd of fans.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)