My favorite project that I did this year was the project I did about the Bunraku puppet shows of Japan. Bunraku is the traditional puppet theater of Japan and It’s an art in which half-life-size dolls act out a chanted dramatic narrative, called Jōruri, to the three-stringed Japanese lute. When I saw that I was able to do a recreation of the Bunraku puppets, I jumped right on the opportunity because I wanted to learn more about Japan and the culture in which these dolls originated. I chose that specifically because my roommate is from Japan and since she’s moved in, I’ve been learning a lot about the culture there and I thought it would be cool to recreate apart of her culture. I like that something I learn about in class can relate to her, and I like that I can share something I’m doing with her. She’s able to help me fully understand the history and the point of the Bunraku and I love that. I enjoy photography but I do not have a lot of experience with it, so I am really glad that I got the opportunity to try something new for this project.
With my recreation, I chose to do a photo. I dressed one of my roommates up in all black to act as one of the manipulators to my other roommate, dressed as the puppet. We didn’t have any of the traditional supplies used to make the puppets so beautiful, but we worked with what we had. I like that I chose to do this because it really challenged me to do what I love, photography (even if I’m not skilled), and use it for something I didn’t know much about prior to this assignment. I found that doing something like this brought on some motivation for me, which is sometimes hard to come by.
In this project, I was able to learn more about the Bunraku and now I know I will always remember the information because it relates to one of my friends’ culture and I think that is so cool. She came to America to learn about our culture, yet she was able to help me learn more about hers.