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United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization

Bunraku, Japanese puppet theater, is an unusually complex dramatic form, a collaborative effort among puppeteers, narrators, and musicians. Columbia University Libraries' Bunraku collection is one the most extensive in the world, documenting its rich performance tradition, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a "masterpiece" of humanity.

The Bunraku gallery is divided into plays, productions, authors, backstage subjects, kashira, and characters. It documents the form's revival in the second half of the 20th century, through more than 12,500 slides and nearly 7,000 black-and-white photographs of rehearsals and performances.

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