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Deaf Puppet Theater Hitomi*

Deaf Puppet Theater Hitomi established in 1981 is made up of both deaf and hearing people. Avoiding the reliance on spoken drama if convention puppet thater, it aims for innovative visual expression drawing on deaf people's heightened perception. With original puppets and masks for each show, they are known for their silent performances involving the puppeteer's entire body. Handmade instruments are used to create the music, and sound communicated visually through movement. Deaf Puppet Theater Hitomi present performances for adults and children, drawing on a wide range of subject matter from mythology and classical Japanese literature to their own original works, with shows including Orpheus, Sonezaki shinju (Love Suicides at Sonezaki), Tono monogatari (Tales of Tono), and Wanpaku Susanoo no orochi taiji (Naughty Susanoo Slays a Dragon). They often perform abroad, including in South Korea, Taiwan, Egypt, and is the Middle East, France, Czech Republic, Poland, and the United States. They have won various awards, including the Judges' Prize at the 1983 International Deaf Pantomime Festival, and the 1992 Child Welfare Culture Award.

Box—Grandpa’s Music Box Photo: Kato Akihiro