articleTttleImage NIPPONBASHI 日本橋(en)
National Bunraku Theater and Kamigata Performing Arts

The Nipponbashi area is home to the National Bunraku Theatre, the only national theater in Osaka.

This is a theater for traditional performing arts such as Bunraku, Japanese traditional music, dance, folk arts, Kabuki, and popular performing arts, and is a world-class venue for viewing Japanese performing arts. It has 753 seats and is equipped with a revolving stage, and other devices, including a movable hanamichi (flower path), which can be used depending on the program being performed.


Ningyo joruri bunraku, commonly called “bunraku,” is a comprehensive art form in which the tayu (storyteller), shamisen player, and puppeteer work as a trinity, and is one of the most representative traditional performing arts in Japan.


Bunraku, recognized worldwide as a unique performing art, is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is expanding its activities worldwide as one of Japan’s representative traditional performing arts.

These great performances are held regularly, so be sure to visit the theater and get a taste of the world of Bunraku!


National Bunraku Theater


Also flourishing are the Kamigata performing arts, which developed mainly in Osaka and include rakugo, manzai, kodan, nankyoku, and kamigata-mai, a type of dance. Manzai is a very popular art form in Japan that usually involves two people telling a story to each other, while rakugo and kodan are stories told by a single person. Rakugo is the art of performing comical or emotional stories with gestures.

Kodan is the reading of historical events and biographies of people related to those events. Namikyoku is the art of storytelling, in which a story is told with unique verses and narration accompanied by the shamisen.


Kamigata-mai is a type of Japanese dance based on the movements of Noh with elements of Kabuki and Joruri, and is characterized by its graceful and serene dance. Kamigata-mai is characterized by its elegant and tranquil dances. Many of the pieces express the deep emotions of the female psyche, through dance. It is also called “Zashiki-mai” because it is often performed in the tatami room.


In modern Minami, compared to the Edo and Showa eras when Kamigata performing arts developed, the number of permanent entertainment halls and vaudeville theaters that can be enjoyed casually has decreased. You can still appreciate Kamigata performing arts at rakugo and rakugo performances!


Please enjoy Osaka’s performing arts!

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