Bunraku (文楽), also known as Ningyō jōruri (人形浄瑠璃), is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre, founded in Osaka in 1684. Three kinds of performers take part in a bunraku performance: the Ningyōtsukai or Ningyōzukai (puppeteers), the Tayū (chanters) and shamisen musicians. Occasionally other instruments such as taiko drums will be used.
The most accurate term for the traditional puppet theater in Japan is ningyō jōruri(人形浄瑠璃?). The combination of chanting and shamisen playing is called jōruriand the Japanese word for puppet (or dolls, generally) is ningyō. it is used in many plays
Bunraku puppetry has been a documented traditional activity for Japanese for hundreds of years.