allad dramas have been commonly known in the Nose district since long ago.
It started in the middle of the Edo Period, known as the Cultural Era, between 1804 and 1817, with the birth of the first actor, and is continuing even today.
There are three main groups of this performing art, which are The Takemoto
Bundayu School, The Takemoto Izustudayu School, and The Takemoto Nakamidayu School, and also in 2001 the fourth school, the Takemoto Tohjudayu School was created, which lead them to compete against each other, and continue the tradition.
The distinct difference in Nose’s Ballad Dramas is called “Oyaji”, which is not seen elsewhere, and what is referred to as “Headmaster” is not hereditary in Nose’s style, which makes it different from others. In Nose, the Oyaji actor has 5 or 6 deciples, who he teaches and trains to be his descendants. Even now, there are more than 200 narrators, and throughout the towns and local district, there have been involved with Ballad Dramas. Some farmers, when they ware not busy with work on their farms, did performing arts training, by having man-to-man lessons given by their mentor/instructor, acquiring their performing skills this way. Therefore, this is a culture that has been created and carried on by ordinary people.
In 1974, these Ballad Dramas were designated as an Osaka Prefectural Abstract Folkways Cultural Asset, and in 1999 they were designated as a Japan National Abstract Folkways Cultural Asset. Continuing to preserve the Nose Ballad Dramas, which have been a local area treasure for a long period of time, while at the same time desiring to create opportunity and prosperity for the next generation, they have decided to add a new doll.
With the instruction and assistance of The Doll Ballad Drama Bunraku Theater, including the narrators, Japanese banjo musicians, puppeteers, and Japanese drummers, all working to move forward, the staff being professional, the cast being amateurs, and assuming the responsibility of developing and sending out a glimpse of the local area’s culture, in June 1998, The Nose Doll Ballad Drama made its debut. The debut production was a Nose original called “The Customary Prelude” and “The Katsura Tree Against the Harvest Moon”.
In 1998, the theater was awarded The Japan Drama Entertainment Association Award, and The Osaka Promotion of Theatrical Art Award. Being conscious to convey tradition together with a new generation inheriting the much loved performing arts of the district, we hope to grow it even more.