Shibaraku is frequently performed as the first play of the new year. The ultimate purpose is to dispel evil, bring blessings, and welcome the new year. It is performed in the “rough” aragoto style that has traditionally been the specialty of the Danjuro clan. The “new” terra cotta costuming with the 3 gigantic square rice measures (logo of the Danjuro clan), special wig, and red make-up, make it the most iconic of all Kabuki plays. Created by Danjuro I, the version performed today was re-created by Danjuro IX. It is frequently ranked #1 of the Kabuki Juhachiban (18 Greatest Plays) compiled by Danjuro VII.
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