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Vol. 19 (2012) No. 3 認知科学 p. 337-364




In Japanese traditional performing arts, “breathing” is consideredone of the most fundamental techniques. Recent studies reveal that breathing is not synchronized with body action in masters or experts in Kyogen and Kabuki, Japanese traditional performing arts. This result contrasts sharply with the report that, with growing proficiency,breathing becomes synchronized with body actionin sports and Western dances. Bunraku,which is also one of the Japanese traditional performing arts, is a form of puppet theater in which three puppeteers cooperatively maneuver one puppet. Bunraku has thus different characteristics from Kyogen and Kabuki; the body (puppet) that performs actions is different from thebodies (puppeteers) that control the actions. Therefore we can expect to find, in Bunraku, a relation between body action and breathing which is different fromthat in Kyogen and Kabuki. In this paper, we clarified relation between body action and breathing in Bunraku puppeteers and compared it with that found in Kyogen and Kabuki. Two Bunraku puppeteers who were different in career (one puppeteer’s career spanned 31 years while the other puppeteer’s career spanned 13 years)participated in our experiment: We asked them to execute the following three tasks; the first task was to perform basic actions called Kata with a familiar puppet, the second was to perform the same basic actions with an unfamiliar puppet, and the third was to perform an actual Bunraku play both to the music by shamisen and to the narration by Tayu. In order to clarify whether or not a puppeteer’s breathing was synchronized with his body action, we investigated the correspondence between his breathing phases and the puppet’s motions in performance aswell as the periodicity and stability of his breathing by analyzing autocorrelation of and applying Fourier analyses to breathing curves. As a result breathing was found less synchronized with body action for the more experienced puppeteer with 31 years career than for the less experienced puppeteer with 13 years career. When they executed the first and third tasks, in addition, the more experienced puppeteer showed more periodic and stable breathing patterns than the less experienced puppeteer did. These findings are consistent with the previous ones found in Kyogen and Kabuki. On the other hand, a clear difference in breathing pattern between the two puppeteers was not found when they did the second task, which is not necessarily consistent with the finding in Kyogen and Kabuki. Along with the previous findings, the results suggest that a common breathing technique may be used among Japanese traditional performing arts, Kyogen, Bunraku and Kabuki.

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