The character Nyūdō Shinsai at Soga village, between Odawara and Hakone

The Shibaraku scene is one of the most popular pieces in the kabuki repertoire. A scene of around fifty minutes, Shibaraku is not a complete play, but a short drama inserted between full plays to provide variety.

The plot centres around a warrior hero who intervenes just as an evil villain is about to kill some innocent people. The ‘Catfish Priest’ (so named for his long sideburns that resemble a catfish's whiskers) is one of the villain’s henchmen, who tries to persuade the hero to leave.

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Glossary of terms

nishiki-e

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