BUNRAKU – Traditional Japanese Puppet Theatre : aforadio.com

Witness the grace and grandeur of a 400 year old Japanese tradition, performed for the first time ever in South East Asia. BUNRAKU- Traditional Japanese Puppet Theatre is a showcase of fastidious teamwork as three puppeteers per puppet work in perfect unity with live traditional music and vocals.

Led by upcoming Living National Treasure of Japan, Kanjuro Kiritake III, and featuring puppets which are intricately maintained historic artifacts, the show is presented in three parts: An interpretation of a harvest celebration dance, an excerpt of the classic “Fox in the Inner Garden”, and a behind-the-scenes demonstration.


Date & Time: 28th June 2013 (8.30pm), 29th June 2013 (3pm, 8.30pm)

Venue: Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac)

Admission: RM 60 (Adults), RM30 (Students, Disabled, Senior Citizens, JCKL/JFKL/TAS Card Members), Discount tickets and Premium tickets are also available.

Performed by: Bunraku Company Minosuke-kai (Master Kanjuro KIRITAKE III and 13 performers/musicians)

Organized by: BUNRAKU in Malaysia Committee 2013 and klpac

Supported by: The Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry, Malaysia (JACTIM), Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan

Sponsored by: AEON CO. (M) BHD., Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd., Malaysia Airlines, Japan Malaysia Club

In Conjunction with: 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, 50th Anniversary of Japan Club Kuala Lumpur (JCKL), 30th Anniversary of the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry, Malaysia (JACTIM)

For further enquiries, please contact :

Bunraku in Malaysia 2013 Committee (c/o The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur)

at 03-22846228, or Harry Siah, mobile no: +6010-241-2305 or email at press@jfkl.org.my


Ranking with Noh and Kabuki as one of Japan’s 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.

Approximately 160 works out of the 700 plays written during the Edo period have remained in today’s repertory. Nowadays, it attracts numerous young performers, and the aesthetic qualities and dramatic content of the plays continue to appeal to modern audiences.

Programs in Malaysia:

– “Futari-Sambaso” (Dancing Celebration)

-   Act from Honcho- Juni-ShikoOkuniwa-kitsune-bi no dan”(Fox Fires in the Inner Garden)

- Behind-the-Scenes Demonstration (Puppet, Shamisen and Tayu)


Born in Osaka in 1953, the son of the Kanjuro Kiritake II, a Bunraku puppeteer who was designated a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government. His elder sister is the actress Kyoko Mitsubayashi. He became a puppetry trainee of the Bunraku Association in 1967. He studied under Minosuke Yoshida III and first performed on stage the following year. He performs both male and female roles, having learned tachiyaku male roles from his father and onnagata female roles from his the famous onnagata puppeteer Minosuke. In 2003 he inherited his father’s name and became Kanjuro Kiritake III. In addition to performing, he conducts workshops, he teaches at the Nose Ningyo Jorori Rokkaku-za theater in the Nose -cho district of Osaka and also produces new plays. He is the president in charge of copyrights for the NPO Ningyo Jorori Bunraku-za.

BUNRAKU Workshop at Japanese School

There will also be a workshop at Japanese School, organized by Japan Club KL. The performers will demonstrate how to manipulate the puppet, as well as explaining history and background of Bunraku, for children in Malaysia to understand Japanese tradition. Malaysian children will also be invited.

Date: 28th June 2013 (Friday)  *Please inquire for more details.

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.ilassotickets.com or call / in-person at klpac Box Office (03 4047 9000).

Operation Hour: 10:30-6:30 on no show day / 10:30-8:30 on show day. (Box Office opens even on Public Holiday)

Concession tickets must be purchased at the Box Office with relevant ID.

Credit card is needed for Phone Reservation.

Booking Inquiry:  klpac Box Office (Tel: 03-4047 9000)

Inquiry for Premium Seats: Bunraku in Malaysia 2013 Committee (JFKL) (Tel: 03-2284-6228)

For further enquiries, please contact :

Bunraku in Malaysia 2013 Committee (c/o The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur) at 03-2284-6228, or Harry Siah, mobile no: +6010-241-2305 or email at press@jfkl.org.my

Click here to listen to Aforadio Live Click here to listen to Aforadio Live

Leave a Reply