File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 84

Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 23:12:22 -0600
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Puppets in Tokyo?

Bunraku in Tokyo

You are in luck. There happen to be Bunraku performances in Tokyo at
the National Theater this weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 16 & 17) there is a program for Bunraku
novices that includes a demonstration of puppet manipulation and tayu
(or gidayu) singing/narration, as well as performances of two famous
pieces: DATE MUSUME KOI NO HIGANOKO - Hi no Mi Yagura no dan (Yaoya
Oshichi and the Fire Watchtower) a great scene in which a young women
climbs a fire tower in the snow in order to ring the bell to save her
condemned lover (a piece we also perform in Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe)
and KOI NYOBO SOMEWAKE TAZUNA a tearjerker about a mother who must
pretend she does not know her son--now a pack driver--whom she had to
abandon as an infant.  This program is about two and a half hours long
(with a 20 minute intermission) and runs twice on Saturday at 11:00 AM
and 2:00 PM and once on Sunday at 11:00 AM only. These are very
"accessible" programs--easy to enjoy. Tickets are 3600 yen for all
seats (about US$30).

The other program (which requires just a bit more endurance) is a
regular performance of  YOSHITSUNE SENBON ZAKURA (Yoshitsune and the
Thousand Cherry Trees) --a Bunraku favorite that includes a fox puppet
that scampers around Fushimi Shrine. It starts at 5:00 PM on Saturday
and 2:00 PM on Sunday and runs for three hours and fifty minutes.
Tickets for this program are 5700 yen, 4700 yen, and 1500 yen for
first-, second-, and third-class seats. (But even the cheap seats are
not that far from the stage.)

You can probably get tickets at the door, especially if you need only
one. Here are two URLs below with info in Japanese on the two
programs. You can print it out and when you get to Japan you could use
it to get someone (hotel concierge?) to call the theater for you to
reserve a ticket.  Novice show  Yoshitsune

There are plenty of other puppets of all sorts to see in Tokyo and all
over Japan. But Bunraku at the National Theater will be the easiest to
get to and the surest thing on your short visit.

Good luck. Wish I were going along.

Prof. J. Martin Holman
Coordinator, Japanese Studies Program
Director, Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe
443 General Classroom Building
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Tel. (573) 882-3368
Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe:

> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Dan McGuire <>
> >Sent: Dec 12, 2006 10:53 PM
> >To:
> >Subject: [Puptcrit] Puppets in Tokyo?
> >
> >Folks,
> >I've got about 36 hours to spend in Japan while on my way to Indonesia. I fly into Narita, and I wonder if anyone knows of puppet related activities in Tokyo this weekend? In particular, I wonder about any bunraku theater, a place where I can get a close look at these puppets? Museum are also a possibility. What can a puppet fan see in such a short time? Thanks for any suggestions on or off list - A postcard will go to anyone with a helpful suggestion.
> >
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