File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 85

Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 22:39:58 -0600
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Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Puppets in Tokyo?

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Bunraku in Tokyo

You are in luck. There are 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. (One of them is Date Musume Koi no Hikanoko, often known as Yaoya Oshichi, 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.)  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 Senbonzakura--a Bunraku favorite--that 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

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
>Subject: [Puptcrit] Puppets in Tokyo?
>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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