Film versions would be ideal, but are no doubt inordinately expensive, so the simplified form of bunraku, in which colourfully decorated, three foot tall puppets are made to act on stage by operators in black costumes, might do very nicely instead. Morris’s late romances have no real depth of character psychology, so bunraku, which is an art of exquisite surfaces (Roland Barthes valued it for exactly that reason), would serve very aptly to represent them. Having already tried the experiment of reading News from Nowhere as a traditional Japanese Noh play (in the Tokyo journal The Rising Generation, March 2009, pp.6-10), I should now like to see The Wood Beyond the World and its successors actually performed as bunraku. I would be willing to produce the scripts.
‘Japan was talked of, but all seemed uncertain’, wrote Jane Morris on 12 October 1892. Yes, we couldn’t be absolutely sure that bunraku would work for her husband’s late works, but I think it’s well worth a try.