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Touken Ranbu Teams Up With Traditional Japanese Theatre For Kabuki, Bunraku Performances

posted on by Kim Morrissy
The historical sword Kogarasumaru—also a Touken Ranbu character—plays a key role in the "Momijigari" play

The Japan Arts Council announced on Monday that the National Theatre in Tokyo and the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka will hold traditional kabuki and bunraku performances based on the Touken Ranbu franchise.

The theatres will perform the traditional "Momijigari" (Maple Viewing) play. In the play's original story, the sword Kogarasumaru plays a key role in Taira no Koremochi's battle against a demon. This famous historical sword is personified as a pretty boy character in the Touken Ranbu series.

Although the performances won't actually feature any Touken Ranbu characters directly, the theatres will feature collaboration posters, educational leaflets, and a life-sized panel of Touken Ranbu's Kogarasumaru in their lobbies. The National Bunraku Theatre will exclusively feature a bunraku puppet inspired by Kogarasumaru, and it will also re-exhibit the Kogitsunemaru bunraku puppet which the theatre first unveiled in April 2021 for a performance of the classic play "Kokaji" (The Swordsmith).

Performances of "Momijigari" will run at the National Theatre in Tokyo from July 3 to 27, and at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka from July 16 to August 4.

The Touken Ranbu "sword personification training game" takes famous swords from Japanese history and interprets them as bishōnen. Nitroplus designed the characters and scenario. The game launched in Japan in January 2015. The series includes several anime, a series of stage musicals, a series of stage plays, and two live-action films.

Johren released the original Touken Ranbu browser game in English in April 2021, and released the smartphone version of the game in August 2021.

Source: Japan Arts Council via Otakomu

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