Bunraku at Columbia University Libraries

The Barbara Curtis Adachi Collection, given to Columbia’s C. V. Starr East Asian Library in 1991, is one of the most extensive collections in the world visually documenting this rich performance tradition. The collection represents four decades of close contact and respectful collaboration between Ms. Adachi and the Japanese National Bunraku Troupe, the leading performance group of Bunraku in the world, and documents the significant revival of Bunraku’s popularity in the second half of the twentieth century.

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Barbara Curtis Adachi

Barbara Curtis Adachi (1924-2004) lived most of her life in Tokyo, where she witnessed her first Bunraku performance in 1935, at the age of eleven. Her extensive involvement with the troupe began in the 1960s and continued throughout the rest of her life.

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Finding Aid

Columbia University Libraries’ Guide to the Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection, 1964-2003 provides detailed information on the collection, its history, and its usage.


View the References (Bibliography) list for more information about Bunraku and the works cited here.

About the Display of Japanese Names

All Japanese names are listed in order of family name and given name without a comma between. Variations of play titles for the same play have been standardized with the appropriate Library of Congress authority headings. If a play title is not listed in the Library of Congress authority headings files, monographs and other published sources are referred to for a main entry. Scene titles and character names are also standardized in the same way. Additional information such as dates of performers is taken from sources including Bunka dejitaru raiburarī and publications by the National Theatre of Japan, National Bunraku Theatre, Asahiza, and Bunraku Kyōkai.

Rights and Permissions

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For more information about the Bunraku collection, visit the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University Libraries.