A new Celebration Curtain desigined by Kusama Yayoi
The name succession of an actor is one of the biggest events in kabuki.
In the January performances at the Kabukiza Theatre, the former Matsumoto Kōshirō succeeded to the name Matsumoto Hakuō II, the former Ichikawa Somegorō succeeded to the name Matsumoto Kōshirō X and the former Matsumoto Kintarō succeeded to the name Ichikawa Somegorō VIII. This simultaneous name succession of three generations of the same acting family is an event that is taking place for the first time in 37 years, and this great event will continue over the next month with new programs for the Matinee and Evening shows.
When performances to commemorate a name succession are staged, a special stage curtain called the 'iwai maku' (celebration curtain) is given by supporters or fans and is used instead of the usual curtain.
The 'iwai maku' (celebration curtain) for the February performances will be sponsored by Ms. Nakano Michiyo, a great fan of Matsumoto Kōshirō X's, and will be designed by Kusama Yayoi, a Japanese contemporary artist.
It was Matsumoto Kōshirō X's idea to have Kusama Yayoi design the 'iwai maku' for this performance. "When I saw Ms. Kusama's art work, I felt the same sophisticated beauty that lives inside kabuki", Kōshirō said. "That is why I wrote a letter to her and asked to use her design".
The stage curtain that will be seen on February 1st is a brilliant design featuring three paintings by Kusama Yayoi that are printed onto a simple black ground. It is the first time that only Kusama Yayoi's paintings are printed on such a large curtain like the 'iwai maku'.
The February performances at the Kabukiza Theatre will start from February 1st and continue until the 25th.