The traditional Japanese kabuki stage has some special characteristics. During the Kanbun era (1660s), the development of sets with backdrops paintings and the pull certain were established. The venue took place in an open air market structure theatre. When the Bafuku in Kyoho permitted the establishment of full public theatres for the first time, the first real wood and stone theatre buildings were constructed. The appearance of hanamichi passageway was a milestone in the kabuki theatre. t extends from the back of the audience seating to the stage on the left side of the heatre as viewed from the audience, while the provisional hanamichi, when used runs on the right. In the other technique, the main actor exits the stage on the provisional hanamichi and reappears on the main hanamichi while the stage set is changed. The main hanamichi also contains the most important lift, suppon (snapping turtle), a small lift about two thirds of the way down the passageway where important characters often make their fantastic entrance.
In genbun era, we see the completion of kabuki theatre stage. At this time, advancements of the kabuki stage ere invented such as seri(lift) and mawaributai (revolving stage) , which are the primary techniques of kabuki staging today. The invention of revolving stage came about not simply as a mechanism for changing the stage scenery in a smooth manner, but more importantly, allowed the scenery to change right there, in front of the audience’s very eyes, giving rise to that unique feature of kabuki called “light up set change”.
During this age, many other techniques were devised one after another, including the sets that come up on lifts (zeri age), diagonally rising lifts, overturning sets, flipping flats and others. Then, the Edo kabuki playwright came up with extraordinary devices such as wheeled pull sets and roll out platform. Those techniques are used even today with drop curtains in order to change scene in an instant. In 1889, a western style building, the kabuki-za, opened and the position of the audience seats changed from sitting in square boxes with cushions on the floor for 5 people to chairs.
When the program of the play is decided, the next step in the production of the play is to create dougu-cho set drawings, which view the theatre from the front. Dougu- cho are color drawings that show a plan of the whole stage from the front view using erspective drawing methods in a 1/50 scale. When it comes to scenery it is more about indicating the locations. For example, house interiors are frequently Just a platform with a wall with sliding door made of wood frame work.
Other than that, there may be an image of a painted drop in the background with an almost cartoonish drawing on it. Besides that, various season can be presented as the stage set. For instance, a touch of sakura flowers and trees can De us ea Tor spring season. In the olden days, mainstream kabuki was performed at selected venues in big cities ike Edo (present day Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto. Local versions of kabuki also took place in rural towns.
These days, kabuki plays are most easily enjoyed at selected theatres. A days performance is usually didvided into 2 or 3 segments( one in the early afternoon and one towards the evening) and each segment is further divided into acts. Tickets are usually sold per segment, although in some cases they are also available per act. They typically cost around 2000 yen (20 dollar)for a single act or between 3000 and 25000 yen($30-250) for an entire segment depending on the seat quality.