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Bunraku and the National Bunraku Theatre

Listed under Entertainment in Tohoku, Japan.

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Bunraku is a traditional form of puppetry where narrative and nuance are the stars and which originated in 17th Century Osaka. It’s stylishly presented using sophisticated articulated hand carved puppets between two and four feet in size accompanied by chanting and shamisen music.

The most impressive puppets have faces with many tiny moving parts or faces that can change into those of animals of supernatural creatures.

Three black robed puppeteers are needed to breathe life into each puppet, the main puppeteer controls the head and right arm with a puppeteer for the left arm and one for the legs. Conversely one person will usually do all the voices, altering their tone to switch between characters.

The government supported National Bunraku Theatre is based in Osaka, but also performs in Tokyo; they only perform five or six two week seasons each year. The Awaji Puppet Troupe based on Awaji Island has daily performances.

More about Bunraku.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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