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Puppet Theater Hitomiza*

Now one of Japan's best-known contemporary puppet theaters, Hitomiza grew out of a theater company founded in 1948 by young theater and literature aficionados. From the start they have been dedicated to a new style of puppet theater and for over a decade from 1970 they performed at their own theater in Tokyo. Hitomiza also have an established reputation for children's works, including the NHK television's puppet play series Hyokkori hyotanjima (Bottle Gourd Island), which was hugely popular from 1964–69. They also provide training in traditional puppetry including otome bunraku, in which each puppet is operated by one puppeteer. In recent years they have performed puppet shows for adults, including King Lear, silent puppet theater including Edward Gorey's The Bicycle, and contemporary theater such as Mizu to suna sorezore no monogatari (Tales of Water and Sand) written and directed by Endo Takuo. Hitomiza have performed at many festivals abroad, including in the United States, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. Their many prizes include the Child Welfare Culture Award.

Mizu to suna sorezore no monogatari
Photo: Furuya Hitoshi