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(under application for designation as a world intangible heritage) Bunraku (puppet joruri) ranks as one of the three great traditional performing arts of Japan, together with Nogaku (Noh/Kyogen) and Kabuki. These three performing arts all originated in the Kamigata (Kyoto-Osaka) area. Osaka is the birthplace of Bunraku, and is still regarded as the center of this art. Thus, Bunraku can justly be called the traditional performing art of Osaka. It has been in existence for more than 300 years and is one of the great traditional arts that Japan has given to the world. Bunraku is a combination of three artistic performances, those of the tayu (reciter), the shamisen player and the puppeteers. Many elements combine to impress the viewer. The tension is maintained by the skill of these artists, who work together over many years, polishing their crafts through a strict training regime. This rigorous training ensures that Bunraku will continue to flourish worldwide in the 21st century.
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