Kabuki theaters in Japan today are built, without exception, in Western style, insofar as their building and staging facilities and accoutrements are concerned. They have retained, however, some of the significant features of the traditional kabuki theater, such as the hanamichi and the mawari-butai.
Hanamichi, or flower-walk ramp
This is a passageway connecting the left side of the stage with the back of the hall
through the spectators' seats at about head level of the audience. It provides a way for the
actors' entrances and exits, in addition to the passages available at both wings of the
stage. The hanamichi, however, serves not only as a passageway, but constitutes a part of
the stage. While making their entrance or exit via this ramp, the actors very often give
one of the most important scenes of their performance.
Mawari-butai, or revolving stage
First invented in Japan nearly 300 years ago, this device was later introduced abroad. It
makes rapid changes of scene possible without interrupting the sequence of the plot. Kabuki in Present-Day Japan. A review of theatrical history of the world shows that an ancient dramatic art, once its form has been stabilized in a near perfect state, has been capable of surviving the test of time even when its literary elements were no longer contemporary. The truth of this statement is borne out by the present state of kabuki. It does not depict contemporary life in Japan, a country whose whole civilization has undergone a great degree of Westernization. Yet it enjoys wide popularity. A principal reason for this lies in the fact that it is now a crystallized form. Kabuki has thus retained, and seems destined to retain, a place in the nation's pride and affection. Kabuki is not everyones cup of tea so many of the people finds its boring.