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This is a famous type of puppetry in Japan called "Bunraku". Three people in black clothing and hoods are needed to make the magic happen: one controls the right arm and head, one the feet, and one the left arm. A Bunraku Troupe came to Yasuda to demonstrate how these dolls are used. This was a cute little demo the main guy gave so we could understand why they do what they do. Very cute, very impressive!
A look at Bunraku with Kiritake Kanjiro
Bunraku in Action
An example of Bunraku in action. Notice the sometimes sharp and sometimes fluid movements of the puppets. Kabuki actors often mimc this style. The men operating the puppets are dressed in black and are assumed to be invisible. The most skilled of the puppeteers manipulates the face and frequently his own face is visible. The music you hear is called joruri.