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When the maneki go up at the Minamiza, the year is coming to a close.
December, and the pace on the streets is just that little bit more hectic, as people feel a need to hurry tidying their affairs before the end of the year. From above the turrets on the Minamiza, at the east end of Shijo Ohashi Bridge, the maneki look down at all the bustle. Maneki are narrow, vertical signboards, made of white cypress, set among green bamboo, and clearly inscribed with thick, black, stylized brushstrokes. Each year, a roll-call of famous names in the kabuki world takes place at the Minamiza, during which well-known actors formally greet the audience. Maneki are the advertisements of this event. Each board, complete with its own roof, has the name of a popular actor. Seen from the street, they seem to be calling out to passersby and inviting (maneku) them to come inside.

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