Yago.”Shop name.” Kabuki actors of the early Edo period were considered too lowly to be allowed surnames. Many, therefore, used a name derived from a sideline business in which they were involved. This became known as their yago. The yago could be the name of a place with which the family had a deep connection, the name of a place from which the actor hailed, the name of an ancestor’s occupation, and so on. Among the earliest yago were Yoshizawa Ayame Ⅰ‘s Tachibanaya and Ichikawa Danjuro Ⅰ‘s Naritaya, revealing that the custom began during the Genroku era. The yago is a kind of nickname and is used by the audience as a word of encouragement that is shouted out to the actor during a performance. Yago are also shouted out during firework festivals: tamaya or kagiya.
KABUKI ENCYCLOPEDIA by SAMUEL L. LEITER