Traditional Theater and Entertainments

Theater in Japan has a long history. The theater forms of today, however are not the results of gradual changes and developments over the ages. Instead, each has reached us in its original form, while at the same time new forms have been added so that many types of theater now coexist.

The well-known traditional forms of theater are noh, dating from the fourteenth century, and bunraku and kabuki, dating from the seventeenth century. Although these have their ardent followers, such devotees make up only a very small fraction of the Japanese people.

Traditional forms of entertainment include naniwabushi(story-telling), rakugo (humorous story-telling ), minyo (folk songs) and kouta (ballads), and a far greater number of Japanese enjoy and are familiar with these.

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