The World of Bunraku

The Music of Bunraku

Tsuruzawa Seiji
Tsuruzawa Seiji plays the shamisen during the May 1979 production of Yoshitsune and a Thousand Cherry Trees
Bunraku is a truly collaborative effort between puppeteers, chanters, and musicians. The puppeteers do not speak; it is the chanters who recite all the spoken parts and the narratives, altering their voices to represent each of the characters as well as to provide the narration. The musicians accompany them on the three-stringed shamisen.

The following selected audio files illustrate the complexity and variety of narration and music in Bunraku.

Audio Files Audio available

Columbia University Libraries' Bunraku audio files are available through GloPAD, the Global Performing Arts Database. View rights and permissions

Sonezaki shinju / The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

About this play:

Audio files:


Heike nyogo no shima (The Priest in Exile)

About this play:

Audio file:


Hadesugata onna maiginu (A Tragic Love Triangle)

About this play:

Audio files:

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