Asian Puppet Theater Exchange : Bunraku Demonstration & Workshop

Asian Puppet Theater Exchange
–Bunraku Demonstration & Workshop–



The Japan Foundation, Bangkok, together with Department of Cultural Promotion, invited audiences to experience the art of puppet from Bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet group, and other 3 active puppet groups from Thailand.


It was a great opportunity to enjoy the demonstration from each group and appreciate the mini performance from Bunraku and Joe Louis Theatre.


(Photo: NPO Bunrakuza)


DateTuesday 26th August 2014
VenueSmall Hall, Thailand Cultural Center (TCC)
Ticket Information          Free Admission

** Japanese-Thai translation was provided for both sessions.

 [Session 1] 

*Mainly for Puppet Group and Students but General Public were also welcomed.

12.45Doors open
13.00-14.30Bunraku Workshop Part 1
-Introduction of Bunraku
-Short Performance
14.30-15.30Thai Puppet Troupes Workshop
-Joe Louis Theatre
-Bann Tookkatoon Hoonkrabok Thai
-Semathai Marionette Arts For Social Foundation
15.30-17.00Discussion / Q&A
Moderator: Ms. Vilawan Svetsreni, Assistant Professor
The Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture, Chiang Mai University


 [Session 2] 
18.00-19.00Thai Puppet Mini Performance & Workshop (Joe Louis Theatre)
19.00-20.30Bunraku Workshop Part 2
20.30-21.00Open Discussion /
Q&A “Comparison between Bunraku and Joe Louis Theatre”
Moderator: Ms. Vilawan Svetsreni
What is Bunraku?

Ranking with Noh and Kabuki as one of Japan’s foremost stage arts, the Ningyo Johruri Bunraku puppet theatre is a blend of sung narrative, instrumental accompaniment and puppet drama. This theatrical form emerged during the early Edo period (ca. 1600) when puppetry was coupled with Johruri, a popular fifteenth-century narrative genre. The plots related in this new form of puppet theatre derived from two principal sources: historical plays set in feudal times (Jidaimono) and contemporary dramas exploring the conflict between affairs of  the heart and social obligation (Sewamono). Nowadays, it attracts numerous young performers, and the aesthetic qualities and dramatic content of the plays continue to appeal to modern audiences.


(Photo: NPO Bunrakuza)


Joe Louis: Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre
The art of puppetry and fine classical performing art, beautifully combined into a unique and inimitable Thai art form. Each show has been neatly and elaborately created as a cultural heritage that can be presented at various occasions with pride. (


(photo: Joe Louis Theatre)


Organizer                     The Japan Foundation, Bangkok
Co-organizer               Department of Cultural Promotion

Welcome speech by Kazuhiro Fukuda (Director General of The Japan Foundation, Bangkok)


Moderator of the discussion / Q&A Session: Assistant Professor Vilawan Svetsreni (Director, The Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture, Chiang Mai University)


Bunraku Part: The first performance, “Utanosuke’s Urgent Report”


Bunraku Part: Explanation of the narrator (tayu) and the shamisen


Bunraku Part: Explanation of the puppet


Bunraku Part: Demonstration-how to manipulate the puppet


Bunraku Part: The second performance “The Red-Hot Love-The Fire Watchtower”


Bunraku Part: The second performance “The Red-Hot Love-The Fire Watchtower”


Bunraku Part: Invitedd some members of audience to participate in puppet manipulation on the stage


Workshop by Thai puppet troupes: Semathai Arts For Social Foundation


Short performance by Joe Louis Theatre “Garuda Seizing Naga”


Demonstration and Workshop by Joe Louis Theatre


Demonstration: How to manipulate the puppet


Bunraku members participated in Thai puppet manipulation


Discussion / Q&A Session


Group photo with Bunraku and Joe Louis Theatre