Kagami-ita (鏡板)

Kagami-ita boards are wainscoting in the front and on the right side face of the Noh stages.

Kagami-ita is sometimes distinguished by its position by naming one in the front as 'shomen no kagami-ita' (kagami-ita in the front) and one on the right side face as 'waki no kagami-ita' (kagami-ita on the side). The former often has an old pine tree painted thereon and the latter often has an young bamboo painted thereon. The former one is said to be a copy of a painting of 'kagemuko no matsu' (a pine tree over a shadow) in Kasuga-jinja Shrine. The latter bamboo was designed later in history than the former. The bamboo was depicted in concord with a pine tree when tatemono-butai (stage that is integrated into a building) was constructed. In the Edo period, painting pictures on kagami-ita was the role of o-e-dokoro (persons in charge of painting pictures) the Kano family and they started to paint the pictures employing kagami-ita pictures of the front stage in the main enclosure of Edo-jo Castle as the model of the layout of the pictures.

The pictures of the front stage of Yasukuni-jinja Shrine (formerly, Mt. Momiji) at Kudan in Tokyo were painted by a painter living in Kyoto; the pictures of the stage in a villa of the Hosokawa clan at Fujimi-cho, Kojimachi in Tokyo were painted by Shosen KONDO; the pictures of the stage of the Umewaka head family at Minami-motomachi, Asakusa in Tokyo wee painted by Shuka TSUCHIYA; and the pictures of the stage for Kamakura-nohgaku-kai society in Sasamegayatsu, Kamakura were painted by Hyakusui HIRAFUKU.

[Original Japanese]