Japan Arts Council

Bunraku Performance for Beginners 2023 in Theatre 1010 (Adachi Ward Cultural Arts Theater)

Venue : Theatre 1010 (Adachi Ward Cultural Arts Theatre)
Performance Dates
Dec. 5(Tue.) - Dec. 14(Thu.), 2023

○:Bunraku Performance for Beginners
◎:Bunraku Performance for Beginners (Evening)
☆:Discover BUNRAKU (With English guidance.)
Running Time : Approx. 2 hours

Dango Uri

An introduction to Bunraku in English

Keisei Koi Bikyaku

Ticket Prices(tax included)
Student =1,800 yen
Adult = 4,500 yen
Seating plan
*Only first floor seats are available.

*Japanese audio guides are available for rent. Click here for details.
*Subtitles: Available only in Japanese. Displayed on the screen above the stage.
*English synopsis is available. It is included in the paid Japanese brochure.
*There will be intermission.

Booking Opens
Nov.14(Tue.), 2023
* If there are still tickets available for purchase on the day of the event, you may purchase them in person at the Box Office for this performance.
 Box Office (on-site) : Open from 10:00 AM until each curtain time.
*Tickets for students and persons with disabilities for this performance are available online.

Box Office (by phone)
 0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English
(10:00AM - 6:00PM)
Online Booking : https://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/top_e.htm

in Japanese

Since 1969, the National Theatre has presented the Bunraku Performance for Beginners, which draws a large audience each year. It is a short, casual performance – the combination of a performer’s commentary with popular, famous Bunraku scenes, giving even Bunraku novices the opportunity to enjoy its charms.

Dangouri (Not Presented at the Discover BUNRAKU Event)
The voices of Ousu and Kinezō, a couple peddling dumplings, echo through the town. The Tayū (narrator) and the shamisen player accompany them in a lively manner to their auspicious words, while the puppets dance lightly and delightfully. We invite you to enjoy this fun performance that is pleasing to both the ear and eye.

An introduction to Bunraku in English
So that you can further enjoy the Bunraku performances, a performer will explain the techniques and charms of Bunraku, a traditional Japanese performing art that has more than 300 years of history. This is a segment unique to the Bunraku Performance for Beginners.

Keisei Koi Bikyaku Ninokuchi-mura no Dan
“The person whom I hate is not my thief child but any official who arrests him.” An abiding love for one’s child even if he/she is a criminal, and a human life stuck in obligation and responsibility to others. This is a poignant Ningyō Jōruri masterpiece that painfully depicts a father who is torn between his unconditional parental love and his duty as a human.
Chūbē, an owner of a courier firm in Osaka, misappropriates money entrusted to him. He escapes to his hometown of Ninokuchi-mura village, traveling through the snow along with his lover, the courtesan Umegawa. On arrival, they take refuge in the house of an old acquaintance of Chūbē. When Chūbē chances to look out of the window, he finds his father Magoemon, who he realizes has unintentionally become the father of a criminal. Feeling nostalgic, Chūbē longs to talk to Magoemon, but he cannot, considering the current situation. Suddenly, Magoemon slips and falls down on the snowy road. Seeing this, Umegawa instinctively runs out of the house and cares for the old man. While talking with Umegawa, Magoemon realizes who she is. He knows, however, that he cannot see his beloved son because it will lead to his arrest. Umegawa is sorely aware of his feelings. This is a famous scene depicting a tense escape journey in which the warm feelings of affection among the characters will strike a chord in every audience member’s heart.