Chikamatsu Reflection

I posted some questions about how Bunraku theater works and how the puppets tell such a complex story so to reflect I wanted to do some research on it. Bunraku theater actually rose to its highest peak during the 18th century with Chikamatsu plays. For Bunraku theater the puppet masters actually stand on stage operating the puppets, typically 3 puppet masters per puppet. Previously the puppet masters would not be seen on stage but as the puppets got more complex and required more movement and staging, the number of puppet masters increased. I had questions about how the story can really come to life just through puppets, since there is just so much to it, but it turns out a narrator is actually on stage with the puppets and puppet masters. has a great picture of Bunraku I’ll include. I’m definitely intrigued by this type of theater and am going to continue looking into it a little more. 

Japanese Bunraku theatre; woodblock print by Utashige, 19th century. The puppeteers appear on stage with their puppets; the narrator is shown at the right.


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