Bunraku is a form of tremendously complex puppet theater that is the result of the extremely focused efforts of puppeteers, narrators, and musicians. The art form was first developed in the seventeenth century, and its popularity peaked in the eighteenth century as major playwrights began to develop elaborate plot lines. Drawing on the remarkable Bunraku collection of Barbara Curtis Adachi, the Columbia University Libraries has created this gallery which includes photographs of different productions, information about authors, and performers. Those persons new to Bunraku will want to start by clicking on "The World of Bunraku" area. Here they can read an essay about noted Bunraku author Chikamatsu Monzaemon and listen to music from a Bunraku production. After that, visitors can search the entire online archive, or browse through the collection by play title, author, performer, or production.


  • Arts > General
  • Arts > Drama/Dramatics
  • Social Studies > General
  • Social Studies > World History

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