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  • From Alexandre Iacouleff's series, "Le Theatre Japonais",  he illustrates a Bunrakuza puppeteer manipulating an articulated doll in a Kabuki Bunraku performance.
Archival Limited Edition Giclee. www.historyrevisited.com.au

Giclee Art Deco Kabuki Theater Iacouleff bunraku puppet


Product Description

Giclee, Kabuki, Japanese Theater, Bunraku, Marionette/Doll/Puppet, Alexandre Iacouleff, Art Deco, 1930s

Here we see Iacouleff illustrating the craft of the principal animator of theater marionettes, Bunrakuza, maneuvers one of the dolls. He manipulates the formal costumed doll from the shoulders. The Doll represents Tonase, a female member of the Kakagawa Honzo, journeying to Kyoto. This scene is from the well-known play Chusningura.This play is a fictionalized account relating to the historical incident involving the forty-seven rōnin and their mission to avenge the death of their master, Asano Naganori.

Print Size = 28 x 38 cm / 11 1/6 x  15 1/6 inches

Issued with Archival Limited Edition Certificate

Bunraku also goes by the name Ningyō jōruri. and is a form of traditional Japanese Puppet Theater. It was founded in the early 1600s in Osaka. A bunraku performance takes three dedicated performers to achieve: the Puppeteer (Ningyōtsukai), the Chanters (Tayū), and the Musicians (shamisen). Occasionally other instruments such as taiko drums will be used. In Japanese theatre history, kabuki and the puppet theatre are closely connected. Throughout its history kabuki has borrowed plays as well as acting techniques from the jōruri puppet tradition, and some of the most famous pieces are staged by both traditions.



Product Videos

Ningyo Johruri Bunraku Puppet Theatre (04:41)
UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2008 URL: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/ningyo-johruri-bunraku-puppet-theatre-00064 Description: Ranking with Nô and Kabuki as one of Japans foremost stage arts, the Ningyo Johruri Bunraku puppet theatre is a blend of sung narrative, instrumental accompaniment and puppet drama. This theatrical form emerged during the early Edo period (ca. 1600) when puppetry was coupled with Johruri, a popular fifteenth-century narrative genre. The plots related in this new form of puppet theatre derived from two principal sources: historical plays set in feudal times (Jidaimono) and contemporary dramas exploring the conflict between affairs of the heart and social obligation (Sewamono). Ningyo Johruri had adopted its characteristic staging style by the mid eighteenth century. Three puppeteers, visible to the audience, manipulate large articulated puppets on the stage behind a waist high screen. From a projecting elevated platform (yuka), the narrator (tayu) recounts the action while a musician provides musical accompaniment on the three-stringed spike lute (shamisen). The tayu plays all the characters, both male and female, and uses different voices and intonations to suit each role and situation. Although the tayu reads from a scripted text, there is ample room for improvisation. The three puppeteers must carefully co-ordinate their movements to ensure that the puppets gestures and attitudes appear realistic. The puppets, replete with elaborate costumes and individualized facial expressions, are handcrafted by master puppet makers. The genre acquired its present full name Ningyo Johruri Bunraku in the late nineteenth century, a period in which the Bunrakuza was a leading theatre. Today, the pre-eminent venue is the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka, but its highly reputed troupe also performs in Tokyo and regional theatres. Approximately 160 works out of the 700 plays written during the Edo period have remained in todays repertory. Performances, once lasting the entire day, have been shortened from the original six to two or three acts. Ningyo Johruri Bunraku was designated Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1955. Nowadays, it attracts numerous young performers, and the aesthetic qualities and dramatic content of the plays continue to appeal to modern audiences. Country(ies): Japan
  • Ningyo Johruri...
    UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritag...

Other Details

Le Theatre Japonais:
Alexandre Iacouleff

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