shibai banzuke 芝居番付
KEY WORD :  art history / paintings
Lit. ranking lists of plays. A generic term for a *kabuki 歌舞伎 playbill. A shibai banzuke generally consists of a ranking list of the actors of a company, a casting list, and pictures of scenes from the play. In a broader sense, however, shibai banzuke could mean all the printed materials made for publicity of a kabuki performance. There are four major varieties of shibai banzuke: : 1) Kaomise banzuke 顔見世番付 (debut playbill), also known as yakushazuke 役者付 (actor playbill) or tsurazuke 面付 (face playbill), or kiwamaribanzuke 極番付 (final playbill) in Kyoto. Playbills were published in the mid-Tenth Month, in connection with the debut kaomise 顔見世 a new, all-star cast for the next year in the Eleventh Month. They listed in a group first the actors for the next year, then the musicians and the joururi 浄瑠璃 company. The kaomise banzuke is thought to have been originated in the 1660's or 1670's in Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo when the custom of introducing an all-star cast, with the innovative idea of an actor lineup began. The early examples were simple in style, but gradually they became more detailed and complex, and by the mid-18c their format had become settled for the most part, with some changes and exceptions, up to the Meiji period. Osaka and Kyoto playbills did not have pictures and were simple compared to the Edo versions, which contained portraits of the leading actors in the various groups. 2)Tsuji banzuke 辻番付 (street playbill), also called yagurashita banzuke 櫓下番付 (beneath-the-turret playbill) or kubari banzuke 配番付 (distributed playbill). A leaflet made for broad publicity. Prior to the opening of the plays they were put up on the streets and bustling parts of town, such as bathhouses and barber shops. They were also distributed to theater patrons by the actors, theater teahouse managers, and theater ushers. All the tsuji banzuke contained woodblock printed pictures, which were copies of theater posters. 3) Yakuwari banzuke 役割番付 (cast playbill), or yakushamon banzuke 役者紋番付 (actor's crest playbill) in Edo. These were guidebooks of the plays which contained a list of performers with their family crests. They seldom contained pictures and were sold at theater teahouses. 4) *Ehon banzuke 絵本番付 (picture book playbill) or ebanzuke 絵番付 (picture playbill), were sold along with the yakuwari banzuke, and contained pictures of each scene along with explanatory notes on the actors. In Edo, artists in charge of the illustrations of shibai banzuke were theater specialists in the *Toriiha 鳥居派 during and after the Genroku 元録 era (1688-1704). More rarely, the artists of the Okumura school, Okumuraha 奥村派, *Katsukawaha 勝川派 and *Utagawaha 歌川派 were also involved. Well-known illustrators in the Kyoto-Osaka area include Yoshida Hanbee 吉田半兵衛 (fl.c.1660-92) and Yuurakusai Choushuu 有楽斎長秀. Shibai banzuke are important materials for the study of *ukiyo-e 浮世絵, especially, actor prints *yakusha-e 役者絵. They also played an important role in the development of the *ooban 大判 size single-sheet prints *ichimai-e 一枚絵 of actors and the beauties (see *bijinga 美人画).


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