Today, if you want to relish this rare art, you must visit the National Bunraku Theater in Osaka , where the performances are organized six times annually for a span of two weeks each.
National Bunraku Theatre is located in Nippon-bashi 1-chome and you can watch Bunraku in January, March, April, June, July, August, and November. You will be impressed by the plays performed with traditional Japanese instruments by the troupe supported by the government.
Features of National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka
* The puppets, tall about one meter, are handled by three persons.
* One handles the head and right arm, another handles the left arm and the third person control the feet and legs.
* The puppeteers are dressed in black robes
* In a bunraku performance, you will find Puppeteers , Chanters and Shamisen players
* The chanter carries out all the characters' role.
* A single or group of chanters However, sometimes multiple chanters are used. The blend of chanting and shamisen playing on a revolving platform is called joruri
* Bunraku, which has many themes similar with those in Kabuki theatre, is famous for plays dealing with lovers' suicide.
* Before the play begins, the chanter bows before the text and promises to follow the script rigidly
History of National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka
Bunraku Theater became famous when a narrator called Takemoto Gidayu founded his own theatre 1684 along with Chikamatsu Monzaemon, the Japanese playwright known as Shakespeare of Japan and Takeda Izumo, a theater owner and manager. Chikamatsu's sewamono or plays about the merchant class, were hugely appreciated in Osaka.
How to Reach National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka
Get off at Namba subway station. You have to take the Sennichi-mae subway line till one stop east to Nippon-bashi Station.