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Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Japanese Puppet Theater

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Jewett Auditorium

Wellesley College

106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481

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Join us for a rare opportunity to experience a full-scale production of kuruma ningyo puppetry with chanting and live shamisen music. The Japan Society of Boston presents Nishikawa Koryu V, the fifth grand master of the Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theater, performing three female-centered stories from classic Japanese literature.

Kuruma ningyo is a unique style of puppetry where artists perform, while sitting on a wooden box with wheels (or, rokuro kuruma). Unlike the more widely known style of Japanese puppetry known as bunraku, which requires three puppeteers to manipulate a single puppet, the use of the rokuro kuruma allows a single puppeteer to manage one puppet. This innovation allows for more dynamic performances, as the performer can move flexibly with the puppet.

Master of vocal performance, Takemoto Koshiko, will accompany the puppetry with live gidayu music performing the voices of all the characters. Among narrative styles, gidayu requires such a vocally taxing range of tone and expression that performers sometimes switch halfway through a scene.

Learn more about the production, music, and performers.

Image: Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theater © Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theater. Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theater’s North American tour is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York, NY, and supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2018, The JEC Fund, and The Jim Henson Foundation.

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Jewett Auditorium

Wellesley College

106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481

View Map

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