(Japanese, from jo, "pure, noble" + ruri, "lapis lazuli", the name of the heroine of a popular epic cycle of the 15th century)

Traditional Japanese dramatic recitation, accompanied by the string instrument shamisen and often associated with the puppet theater ningyō joruri (ningyō, "puppet"), which is nowadays better known as bunraku (the ningyō puppets themselves are marvels of mechanical ingenuity, requiring up to three puppeteers to operate their complex facial expressions).

Joruri was originally practiced by wandering blind storytellers who accompanied themselves on the biwa, later replacing this with the shamisen.

The prevalent joruri style, gidayu-bushi was developed by Takemoto Gidayu (1651-1714). Gidayu-bushi is a powerful and expressive form, still utilised in both bunraku and kabuki theater.

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