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Bunraku is traditional puppet theater that originated in the 17th century. Like Kabuki, Bunraku plays center on love, revenge, and other common themes, but what sets Bunraku apart are its puppeteers, who are dressed in black and are right on stage with their puppets. It takes three puppeteers to manipulate one puppet, which is about two-thirds the size of a human. Although the puppeteers are at first a distraction (it's hard not to watch them in fascination), the puppets are so skillfully maneuvered that they gradually take on lives of their own, rendering the puppeteers almost invisible. A narrator chants the story, with music supplied by Shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese instrument.