15th Special Exhibition, Museum of Osaka University Otome-Bunraku— From the Golden Age to the Present —

15th Special Exhibition, Museum of Osaka University

Otome-Bunraku— From the Golden Age to the Present —


Date: October 18th (Monday) – December 18th (Saturday), 2021

Meeting place: Museum of Osaka University Machikaneyama Shugakukan

*Free admission

Opening hours: 10:30 to 16:30 (admission is until 16:00)

Closed on Sundays and public holidays

Organized by: The Museum of Osaka University

Co-organized by: The Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University


Otome-Bunraku is a general term for a single-person Puppet Theater (Ningyo-joruri) that was born in Osaka in the early Showa era (1926–1989). Evidence suggests that the Otome-Bunraku was originally modeled on girls’ opera, which was popular at the time. Teenage girls were mostly responsible for puppeteering, while dramatic recitation accompanied by a shamisen (Joruri) was carried out by an amateur, female song narrator (Gidayu). In addition, the puppets were remodeled so that one person could use a big marionette based on a three-person Bunraku-puppet. In the pre-war period of the Showa era, Otome-Bunraku was mainly performed in Osaka, but it spread throughout the country, and especially in the Kanagawa Prefecture, where Otome-Bunraku is still actively performed.


In post-war Osaka, several Otome-Bunraku troupes continued their activities, but since 1965, their activities centered around Osaka have declined, and some have disbanded. The puppets, costumes, and tools of the disbanded Otome-Bunraku troupes were sent to various areas, and later some were donated to Osaka University. This exhibition introduces the history and current state of Otome-Bunraku, focusing on the costumes in Osaka University’s collection.


Exhibit contents

  1. Ningyo-joruri in the modern era
  2. History of Otome Bunraku
  3. Contemporary Otome Bunraku


Main exhibition

・“Osaka Musume-Bunrakuza”: Costume, Ningyou Dou (puppet trunk), Kataita (shoulder pieces), set furniture and tools (Dougumaku [theatre curtain]; Kodougu [stage properties]; etc.)

・Otome-Bunraku Neck

・Three-person Bunraku puppet

・Contemporary Otome-Bunraku puppet


Osaka Musume-Bunrakuza”: Costume


Exhibition-Related Events

Mitsue Yoshida Otome-Bunraku — Performance and Commentary

Saturday, October 30, 2021

*All seats of this event are reserved.


Performer – Mitsue Yoshida (Otome-Bunrakuza)

Commentary by Kimiko Hayashi (Professor, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Kinki University)

Meeting Place: Seminar Room, 3rd Floor of Seminar Room, Museum of Osaka University


Pre-Registration System (details from the URL below)


1st Performance 13:30 (about 30 minutes)

Performance Program: The ‘Sakaya’ scene of Hadesugata Onnamaiginu


2nd Performance 5:00 (about 30 minutes)

Performance Program: The ‘Yadoya’ scene of Shyoutsushiasa Obanashi


Sorry. This event has ended.



Click here for details →https://www.museum.osaka-u.ac.jp/2021-11-02-15686/