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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. She attended over four decades of Bunraku performances, conducted over one hundred interviews of Bunraku performers and behind-the-scene craftsmen, and took thousands of photographs. Ms. Adachi lectured widely both in and out of Japan on Bunraku and wrote several books including The Voices and Hands of Bunraku (1978) and Backstage at Bunraku (1985).


The Voices and Hands of Bunraku. Tokyo, New York: Kodansha International, c1978.

Backstage at Bunraku. New York: Weatherhill, 1985.


(available in the Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection, Series 8.2)

“Appreciating Bunraku.” Pamphlet for Bunraku U.S. Tour, 1988.

“Bunka: Bunraku wo ura no ura kara” (interview). Nihon Keizai Shinbun, June 13, 1978.

“Bunraku.” The Imperial, Autumn 1971.

“Bunraku.” The Imperial, Spring 1986.

“Bunraku: Japan’s Traditional Puppet Theatre.” Japan Society Newsletter xxx, no. 7 (1983).

“Bunraku: Japan’s Unique Puppet Theater.” Ikebana International, Autumn/Winter 1971.

“Bunraku Puppets Captivate New Yorkers.” Mainichi Daily News, April 6, 1973.

“Hands of Japan: 80 Years Playing a Samisen.” Mainichi Daily News, March 25, 1974.

“Hands of Japan: Komatsudayū, Bunraku Theatre Narrator.” Mainichi Daily News, Feb. 24, 1975.

“Hands of Japan: Minosuke III, ‘You have to Steal.’” Mainichi Daily News, Dec. 11, 1979.

“Hands of Japan: Samisen, The True Sound of Japan.” Mainichi Daily News, Feb. 1, 1972.

“Hands of Japan: Tamamatsu III: Bunraku Puppeteer.” Mainichi Daily News, April 30, 1975.

“Hito: ‘Bunraku no hitobito’ wo kaita Bābara C. Adachi” (interview). Asahi Shinbun, June 6, 1978.

“How to Go to the Japanese Theater.” The Journal of American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, May 5, 1971.

“In the Shadows: The Other Side of Bunraku.” Kansai Time Out, April 1, 1986.

“Keishōsha to soreo mimamoru hitotachi.” Ichiryū ni tsuite sono ni, edited by Gendai Bunka Kenkyūjo. Tokyo: Mōbiru Bunko, 1978.

“Looking at Bunraku: A Nineties View of a Traditional Japanese Dramatic Form.” An Interpretive Guide to Bunraku, edited by Patricia Pringle. Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1992.

“Masters of Illusion: Osaka’s Vibrant Bunraku Puppets on Stage.” Winds (The Inflight Magazine of Japan Air Lines), Oct. 1983.

“On the Nature of Bunraku: A Primer on Japanese Puppet Drama.” Japan Society Newsletter, May 1992.

“Puppet Theater: Butterflies and Ants.” The Asian Wall Street Journal, Oct. 23-24, 1987.

“Super Puppets: The Pride of Osaka.” The Asian Wall Street Journal, April 25-26, 1986.

“Tea Time” (interview). Shūkan Bunshun, Aug. 3, 1978.

“The Voices and Hands of Bunraku.” Mainichi Daily News, July 6 - Aug. 10, 1978.

Anthony, Catherine. “Bunraku Puppet Story Teller Needs Grit, Sweat and Tears.” Mainichi Daily News, Feb. 24, 1971.

Anthony, Catherine. “Hands of Japan: Bunraku is Not Static Art.” Mainichi Daily News, March 10, 1972.

Anthony, Catherine. “Hands of Japan: Oe, Last of Puppet Makers.” Mainichi Daily News, May 23, 1971.

Anthony, Catherine. “Seijuro Toyomatsu Interviewed: ‘Puppeteers Make Dolls Come Alive to Audience’.” Mainichi Daily News, Feb. 17, 1971.

*Adachi used a penname, Catherine Anthony, for some newspaper articles above.