Gidayū-bushi : music of the bunraku puppet theatre

Authored by: Yamada Chieko , Alison Tokita

The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music

Print publication date:  October  2008
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9780754656999
eBook ISBN: 9781315172354
Adobe ISBN: 9781351697613


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Gidayū-bushi is the musical narrative of the puppet theatre, now commonly called bunraku. ‘Founded’ in Osaka in 1684 by Takemoto gidayū (1651–1714), gidayū-bushi is a branch of jōruri, a musical narrative dating from the fifteenth century. Jōruri came to be accompanied by the shamisen, brought to Japan in the late sixteenth century, and then combined with puppet drama. Gidayū-bushi is normally performed by one singer and one shamisen player. Bunraku was the name of a puppet theatre built in Osaka in the early nineteenth century, and now refers to the art form itself.

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