ARAGOTO, Family Traditions of Ichikawa Clan
SHIBARAKU, YA-NO-NE (Arrow Sharpening) KENUKI (The Tweezers)
Talk and DVD presentation by Toshi Aoyagi
The Ichikawa family has been positioned as central to the Kabuki world, in particular in Edo (Tokyo) style Kabuki. Danjuro I (1660-1704) originated the Aragoto acting style, which portrays fearsome heroes. The emotional highlight of the drama is emphasized by the electrifying Mie stop motion, which creates an effect similar to the use of the close-up in film. Bold Kumadori make-up and forced eye movements establish the focus of the entire stage. Over-the-top gigantic costumes must surely have inspired the design of Transformer robots in the twentieth century. However, the audiences of Edo saw the purifying, divine power in those childlike minds of their super heroes. They were more than heroes, but gods in splendour.