Japanese Bunraku: Performers Bring Puppets to Life

For centuries, Japan's vaunted bunraku puppet theater has combined complex puppet manipulation, narrative chanting, and shamisen music to present drama both exquisitely stylized and achingly human. Each large puppet requires three puppeteers to bring it to life. This performance features the world-renowned bunraku performer Kanroku and his Osaka-based Mokugu-sha company presenting both a work from the traditional canon and a new collaboration with Native American artist Sage Andrew Romero, an accomplished Hoop Dancer and storyteller.

Kanroku has been a puppeteer for the last forty-five years and performed at the National Bunraku Theater in Osaka for thirty three years after studying with national treasures such as Kanjuro Kiritake and Minosuke Yoshida. In 2006, he started his own Bunraku company, Mokugu-sha. While pursuing contemporary projects and collaborating with other artists, he continues to teach and practice classical pieces.

Sage Andrew Romero is a member of the Tovowahamatu Numu (Big Pine Paiute) and Tuah-Tahi (Taos Pueblo) Tribes. He is an accomplished Hoop Dancer and has traveled internationally sharing the culture of his people through song, story, dance and art. Sage also strives to be a positive role model for the Native youth and lives a life of Sobriety away from Drugs and Alcohol. Through culture he hopes to instill pride within the youth so they may continue carrying on the traditions on for future generations.

Organized by Sonoma Cultural Exchange.