International students enjoy Bunraku puppet show
19 Jan 2023
On December 10, 2022, eight international students of Gakushuin University enjoyed a Bunraku puppet show at the National Theatre. This was one of the opportunities the International Centre gives international students to learn about Japanese culture and entertainment, financially supported by Kasumi Kaikan, a general incorporated association.
Bunraku is a form of Japan's traditional performing arts listed as a UNESCO World Intangible Heritage. On the stage, three puppeteers together control a puppet, accompanied by traditional Japanese narrative music played with Shamisen, a Japanese string instrument.
The program was "Ehon Taikoki," adapted from the story of a historic event that happened in 16th-century Japan. In the traditional Japanese atmosphere created by the National Theatre, the students were given a lecture about Bunraku. With a demonstration, the explanation was easy to understand even for those who experienced the puppet performance for the first time.
The play expresses agony of a warlord who rebelled against his master and of his family. The audience was attracted by the puppets' lively movements and impressed by the puppeteers' doll-controlling skills.
The participating students were able to enjoy the beauty of the dolls and the pleasant Shamisen sound although it was the first encounter with Bunraku for most of them.