The Nose Ningyo Joruri

The farming community of Nose, a town located in the northernmost part of Osaka Prefecture, has taken an interest in joruri (ballad drama) since the Edo period (1603-1868), practicing dutifully under the tutelage of a trained teacher. In this region performances were traditionally put on by a chanter and shamisen player only, without the puppets employed in bunraku plays. Even today there are some 200 active chanters in the town, studying under three professional tayu (bunraku chanters). The Nose Ningyo Joruri was organized as a way to carry on this rich cultural tradition in the form of ningyo joruri (puppet drama). In 1993 the town opened the Joruri Theater and the entire local community has been active in collecting new plays as well as the creation of puppets and stage props. The first public performances were given in 1998, with the assistance of the Ningyo Joruri Bunrakuza theater, and interest in the performances has been growing year by year.
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