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Photo Journal: Triple century treat


Bunraku puppeteer Kiritake Kanjuro operates the main character Kagekiyo in a scene from "Shusse Kagekiyo," a joruri puppet play that was performed for the first time in 333 years, in the theater Renaissa Nagato, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, on July 8, 2018. This play is based on the life of Kagekiyo, a soldier of the defeated Heike clan, who tries to assassinate his enemy Minamoto no Yoritomo, but gets arrested while becoming tangled in a love-hate relationship between his wife and a prostitute. The play was Chikamatsu Monzaemon's first work for the joruri chanter Takemoto Gidayu, first performed in 1685. Although one scene was shown in Osaka in 1985, a full performance was said to be impossible because of the characteristics of joruri puppet plays as an oral tradition. The play went ahead, however, with the enthusiastic help of people like theater researcher Bunzo Torigoe and shamisen player Enza Tsuruzawa. (Mainichi)

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