Masuda String Puppets performances
16, 18 & 19 November 2017, London
Bunraku, the puppetry handled directly by the pupetteers without using strings is internationally known today. Not many people know that Japanese traditional string puppetry was as very popular in Japan from the Edo Period.
In the Izumo region of Shimane, where Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine is located, records show string puppetry (using the old Chinese style handling board with five strings) entertained pilgrims and tourists as early as 1652, in the early Edo Period. Although it disappeared after the World War II when modern entertainments such as TV and cinema took over. Izumo-style puppetry has been preserved in the neighbouring Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Masuda Puppeteers use a ΕΔ-shaped handling board with up to eighteen strings. They are said to be the only group in Japan preserving the original Edo format handling the puppets from above the ceiling board of the puppet stage and with a Gidayu narrator, Shamisen player and percussion accompaniment. We brought the narrators and music accompaniment to London, without the puppet stage, to give performances at Victoria & Albert Museum in May 2016. For their 2017 tour we use recorded narration and music.
Masuda String Puppeteers are currently assisting the Association for the Preservation of Izumo Puppets to revive puppetry. There are almost five hundred Izumo Puppet artefacts including puppets, their kimono costumes and stage props stored by Izumo City’s Cultural Treasure Department. We are planning to show some the artefact images at our SOAS event on 16th November.
November 16th (Thu) 18:30 - Lecture and Performance at SOAS, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, Admission Free
November 18th (Sat) 14:30 - Matinee Performance at Norwich Puppet Theatre
19:30 - Evening Performance at Norwich Puppet Theatre
November 19th (Sun) 10:00 - Edo Sring Puppet-handling Workshopat Norwich Puppet
Theatre By appointment £30.00 incl. 18th evening ticket
16, 18 & 19 November 2017
16 Nov (Thu) 18:30 - Lecture and Performance at SOAS, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
18 Nov (Sat) 14:30 - Matinee Performance at Norwich Puppet Theatre
19 Nov (Sun) 10:00 - Edo Sring Puppet-handling Workshop
Masuda String Puppeteers Association