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Bunraku Puppet Theatre | by TigTab
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Bunraku Puppet Theatre

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The main puppeteer, the omozukai, uses his right hand to control the right hand of the puppet. The left puppeteer, known as the hidarizukai or sashizukai, depending of the tradition of the troupe, manipulates the left hand of the puppet with his own right hand by means of a control rod that extends back from the elbow of the puppet. A third puppeteer, the ashizukai, operates the feet and legs. Puppeteers begin their training by operating the feet, then move onto the left hand, before being able to train as the main puppeteer. This process can take 30 years to progress.


All but the most minor characters require three puppeteers, who perform in full view of the audience, generally wearing black robes. In some traditions, all puppeteers also wear blacks hoods over their heads, while others, including the National Bunraku Theater, leave the main puppeteer unhooded, a style of performance known as dezukai. The shape of the puppeteers hoods also varies, depending on the school to which the puppeteer belongs.

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Taken on October 20, 2008