Skip to Main Content

IB Theater Research: Bunraku (Japan)

An Introduction to Bunraku by the Japan Arts Council

An Introduction to Bunraku by the National Bunraku Theater in Japan

Bunraku Call Numbers and Subject Headings

Call Numbers

  • PL738.J6         Japanese literature -- History -- Jōruri. Sekkyōbushi.
  • PL768.J6         Japanese literature -- Collections -- Jōruri. Sekkyōbushi. Also check individual authors' call numbers for .
  • PN1978.J3      Puppet theater in Japan

Subject Headings

  • Bunraku: Here are entered works on the traditional style professional puppet theater of Japan which features chanted text, musical accompaniment, and the three man operation of each puppet.
  • Bunraku puppets
  • Jōruri—Texts: Used for Bunraku plays and Jōruri puppet plays.
  • Puppet plays, Japanese

Bunraku Demo

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.

About Noh Theater

Click here to access the ebook in Questia.

Cover Art
The Noh Theater - Kunio Komparu
ISBN: 9780834815292
Publication Date: 1983-10-01
A very goood-introduction to Noh theatre, its history, aesthetics, style, music, and other aspects.