Performing Utsushi-e


Projection Technique

A scene consists of several segments which are projected simultaneously. For example, if it is a scene with two men in front of a house and wall, with hills as distant view, five furo will be used.

Typically a company consisted of approximately 8 members. Besides the operators of lanterns (a) story-teller(s), who could be either musician(s) or comic story-teller, or both, performed.

Rear projection from behind the screen

Screen is made of Japanese paper which is half transparent. The size could be as large as 1.8m×5.4m when it was performed at a theatre.

In the above image at least 5 magic lanterns are in use. Three for backdrops, with the lanterns placed on stands, and two for characters - the lady and the man who sleeps in his boat.

Musicians play shamisen (guitar-like instrument), sing, and narrate outside the screen, according to the same tradition as Bunraku or Kabuki.