Kabuki. Once act 1697. Nakmura-za, Edo Period. This play is one of the famous Ichikawa family collections, the kabuki Juhachiban Danjuro I, i staged his own play, Daifukucho Asahina Hyaku no Monogatari, which contained the seed of the piece that came to be known as Shibaraku. A performance style closer to that which became familiar to generations of kabuki theatergoers was created for the 1697, Sankai Nagoya, written by Danjuro I, (under the pen name of Mimasuya Hyogo) with himself in the leading role. The piece has an unusual title since its taken from a shout. : Shibaraku!”, ( “Wait a moment)” deliverd from offstage by the hero just before he enters on the hanamichi. For many years, the chief character had a different name whenever the play was revived. In recent times he has been known mainly as kamakura Gongoro Kagemaasa. Shibaraku was customarily performed as part of the annual November kamise productions, by which a company of actors was introduced to the public. It is a classic example of the aragoto style of performance. At a shrine precinct the evil lord Uke commands his attendants ( called haradashi* or belly thrusters, “because of their huge, bright red, padded abdomens to behead Yoshitune and katsura no mae, innocent characters who will not bow to his will. At this point a great shout is heard – “Wait a moment!”, and the hero appears on the hanamichi. He speaks there at a great length about his name ( the tsurance convention) comes up with the main stage, cuts off heads of groupof soldiers with one blow of his odachi sword, saves the threatened characters, and retirees down the hanamichi with great authority. Among the work’s famous visual
effects is the striking contrast between the makeup of Uke and Gongoro. The former wears stylized aiguma makeup of blue lines printers over a white housethe hero where lord Lions on white style called called suju gamma. He also wears the bizarre kuroma bin wig and a huge, persimmon duo, or robe bearing the Ichikawa family crest: three rice measures, one inside the other. Gongoros tsuranes speech, his grand Grnroku min, and his splendid bounding (roppo) on the hanamichi fully exemplify the aragoto style. A femal verizon of the pla also exists.