Ningyo puppet Bunraku

The Ningyo Johruri Bunraku Puppet Theatre is representative of Japan's traditional performing arts. These refined plays include a narrator who is also the director, a shamisen player and puppeteers, acting in unison. Bunraku entered a period of flowering in the Genroku era in the Edo Period, and has had a great impact on Kabuki. In the 17th century, Bunraku moved from Osaka to Edo (currently Tokyo), stimulating many new styles. Among these, Gidayu Takemoto (1651 - 1714), who established the Takemoto-za theatrical company, had an especially great impact on subsequent bunraku. Gidayu devised the Gidayu-bushi, which features a fluid script, scenery, sentiment, and historical background based on shamisen music, and this drew people's interest. The delicate timing and fantastic vocalization using the teeth, tongue, and lips drew people into the story. Bunraku performances include jidaimono, or period pieces, based on historical good-luck stories and sagas, and sewamono, or caring pieces, based on the daily life of people of that time. "The Love Suicide at Sonezaki," scripted by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, which relates a tragic love story based on a love pact that actually occurred, is both the leading force in the "romantic suicide” story boom and had been given high marks as literature.
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