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Chikamatsu Monzaemon, considered by many to be Japan's greatest playwright, gave up writing Kabuki plays and focused exclusively on the puppet-only Bunraku plays.Initially consisting of one puppeteer, by 1730 three puppeteers were used to operate each puppet in full view of the audience.In Taiwan, budaixi puppet shows, somewhat similar to the Japanese Bunraku, occur with puppeteers working in the background or underground.Some very experienced puppeteers can manipulate their puppets to perform various stunts, for example, somersaults in the air.China has a history of puppetry dating back 3000 years, originally in "pi-yung xi", the "theatre of the lantern shadows", or, as it is more commonly known today, Chinese shadow theatre.By the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), puppets played to all social classes including the courts, yet puppeteers, as in Europe, were considered to be from a lower social stratum.

The origin of this form of puppetry dates back seven hundred years when the rice fields would flood and the villagers would entertain each other, eventually resulting in puppet show competitions between villages.Some forms of puppetry may have originated as long ago as 3000 years BC.Puppetry takes many forms, but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects to tell a story.Puppetry is used in almost all human societies both as entertainment – in performance – and ceremonially in rituals and celebrations such as carnivals.In the 2010s throughout rural Africa, puppetry still performs the function of transmitting cultural values and ideas that in large African cities is increasingly undertaken by formal education, books, cinema, and television.

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