enpaku 早稲田大学演劇博物館


  The Theatre Museum loaned the Yokai Hikimaku to the exhibition at the British Museum from May 23 to August 26, 2019. This large kabuki theater curtain, measuring 4 meters wide and 17 meters long, was painted by the famous Japanese painter, Kyosai Kawanabe. Depicting popular kabuki actors as yokai or demons, this unique curtain was displayed on the museum’s wall, providing a dramatic backdrop for exhibit visitors.
On this occasion, the Theatre Museum digitized the Yokai Hikimaku because it has deteriorated over time. To preserve its current condition, we collaborated with the Toppan Printing Co., Ltd, to produce it as a high-definition image comprising 9.4 billion pixels.
Moreover, we utilized the image as a resource for further use. Based on the digitized image, Toppan Printing and the Theatre Museum created an animation and special viewer content as additional products of their collaborative research. The animation gave us a fresh impression of the Yokai Hikimaku by moving portraits of yokai. The viewer content enables us to zoom in on and out from the image and appreciate the details of the curtain, as well as compare Kyosai’s drawing with the photos or the yakushae, the wood block prints of the kabuki actors. We hope you will enjoy this attraction, the Yokai Hikimaku.