hanamichi 花道
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
Lit. flower path. A long elevated walkway on the left side of a *kabuki 歌舞伎 theater, extending from the rear of the audience to the stage. Originally from the Kawarazakiza 河原崎座 in 1668, it was a board walkway ayumi-ita 歩み板, that reached from the center of the stage to the middle of the theater. It was used for actors to receive flowers after a performance. The type of hanamichi familiar today, a honhanamichi 本花道 (main walkway), was devised in 1740. Its standard dimensions are about 16.38m - 18.20m long and 150-180cm wide. Another elevated passage called karihanamichi 仮花道 was later constructed on the right-side, and was one third the width of the left- side hanamichi. The two hanamichi allowed for very complicated and unique performances. Because the hanamichi runs through the audience, it brings the spectators in closer contact with the actors and heightens the excitement because the actors play some of their most dramatic parts while entering or exiting along the hanamichi.


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