Traditional Japanese puppet shows to entertain Vietnamese public

15:06 | 02/07/2018 Culture & Art

Audiences in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will have the chance to enjoy traditional Japanese puppet performances soon.

Traditional Japanese puppet performances will be introduced to audiences in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in mid-July

As part of the celebrations for the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan, the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam will introduce traditional Japanese puppet performances by Bunraku Company from Osaka to the public in HCM City on July 12 and Hanoi on July 14.

Along with two other forms of traditional theater, Noh and Kabuki, puppet theater is one of Japan's oldest stage art forms. It combines the art of storytelling through puppets and music. Stories in the puppet plays revolve around two main themes: historical stories of feudalism, called jidaimono, and contemporary stories about conflicts arising from social barriers, named sewamono.

The performances have been maintained since the middle of the eighteenth century. Three puppet masters control the same puppets on stage, while wearing black costumes and face masks. The storytellers, and another artist that plays a three-stringed musical instrument called a shamisen, sit on the right side of the stage. The narrators must constantly change their voice and tone to suit every situation and every character in the play. They are completely free to be creative with the available script, using their own emotions and styles.

Nearly 160 out of the 700 scripts from the Edo Period on the traditional Japanese puppet theater are still preserved and staged for today's audiences.

The programs are not for children under 12 years old.

Theo NDO/VNA