Invitation To  BUNRAKU


Stage view from kamite
Stage view from kamite
  • Inner partition
  • Dropped floor
  • Outer partition
  • First partition
  • Seating area
  • Narrators' platform
View of the stage in cross section (Ex: A house scene)

The stage from shimote to kamite is partitioned by barriers called tesuri (partitions). The first partition closest to the audience indicates the edge of the stage. There is a dropped floor (funazoko) behind the outer partition in the rear. The dropped floor is one step lower than the stage floor seen by the audience. When puppeteers wearing high stage clogs stand on the dropped floor, it creates the illusion that the doll is standing right at ground level. In addition, there is an inner partition further back, and the level of the area behind this partition is higher than the dropped floor. When puppeteers stand there, the doll appears to be standing on tatami or flooring higher than ground level in the case of an indoor scene for example.

Main cast
April 2014
National Bunraku Theatre
"Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" Kenka
Narrator: Toyotake Sakihodayu
Shamisen player: Nozawa Kiichiro
Puppeteer: Yoshida Seigoro, Kiritake Kanju, Yoshida Bunshi, Kiritake Kanjuro III (from left)
Photograph by Shinji Aoki