- 総合文化研究所紀要 (ISSN:09100105)
- vol.21, pp.107-128, 2004-03-31
The Bunraku puppet show is one of the traditional public entertainments of Japan and we are proud of its 400years history. It was specified as a World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in 2003. In this paper the characteristics and the charm of Bunraku costumes are observed by characteristics clarifying the historical development of costumes and the differences in present costumes seen in the realistic dramas and the historical ones, based on the research carried out since 1984 in the actual conditions of the culture and documentary records of performances at the National Bunraku Theater of Japan. Gorgeousness of costumes was forbidden from about the Kan-ei age on, and costumes were taken from the costumes of court nobles, military families and Noh costumes of prior ages, and the general fashions were taken from about the Genroku age. The epoch-making conversion of the costumes were tried and the foundation of today was formed from Enkyo age to Horeki age. There are some fundamental principles in the sewing and the dressing of the present costumes. The costumes for realistic drama seem to be somewhat stereotyped and realistic. The transformation, the specialization and the exaggeration of general fasions in historical drama are remarkable. Moreover, the high aesthetic sense and artistic effects can be seen in the design. Within the restrictions and limitations to manipulate a puppet, the Bunraku costumes make use of the character of the dolls and it shows its function to construct and to realize an original characteristic world of art as an existence which exceeded the human. There are characteristics, and an appeal of the costumes of Bunraku not seen in the costumes of Kabuki and Noh where human beings perform.