bunraku

form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre

Bunraku (文楽), also known as Ningyō jōruri (人形浄瑠璃), is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre, founded in Osaka in the beginning of the 17th century. Three kinds of performers take part in a bunraku performance: the Ningyōtsukai or Ningyōzukai (puppeteers), the tayū (chanters), and shamisen musicians. Occasionally other instruments such as taiko drums will be used. The most accurate term for the traditional puppet theater in Japan is ningyō jōruri (人形浄瑠璃). The combination of chanting and shamisen playing is called jōruri and the Japanese word for puppet (or dolls, generally) is ningyō. It is used in many plays. Bunraku puppetry has been a documented traditional activity for Japanese people for hundreds of years.
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