Yesterday I went to the National Bunraku Puppet Theater in Osaka to see the traditional Japanese puppet performance, usually called "Bunraku" in Japanese. I am a Bunraku fan because it is a very special world. It is unique in various points.
First, the story is narrated by a high-level chanter with the accompaniment of shamisen music, who changes his voice into various characters and attracts the audience.
Second, in most of the world's puppet theaters, great pains have been taken to hide the manipulation of the puppeteers from the audience. But in Bunraku, the manipulators appear openly, in full view
of the audience.
Third, furthermore, each puppet is manipulated by three puppeteers: main puppeteer(head and right hand), left puppeteer and third puppeteer (lower part).
Lastly, the theme is not for kids. Probably you imagine puppet play is mainly for kids, but the theme of Bunraku is for adults, such as avenge, infidelity and double suicide. Far away from fantasy. Bunraku started in the 17th century when the third military government united Japan (Tokugawa era) and it was under a feudal system. At that time there was a clear status system and it was difficult to love freely. All the stories are based on the lives in the Tokugawa era. Samurai world.
The theater offers earphone guide service so as to understand the story easily. English earphone guide service is available for YOU.
Enjoy Bunraku in English.