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Tokushima | Awa Jurobe Yashiki Theater and Museum

How Tokushima is keeping Japan’s traditional art of puppetry alive

Ningyo Joruri, the Japanese traditional puppet theater, is a 400-year-old art in which three people control one puppet, bringing it to life with slow elegant moves, favored by the Japanese over speed. For anyone who is interested in learning more about it, Awa Jurobe Yashiki’s theater and museum located in East Tokushima is a must-visit. Founded in 1954 and designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Culture Asset, the theater puts on two daily performances. Take a tour around the small exhibition room to view some of the older puppet heads from the Meiji and Taisho eras. Here, you can browse rare doll heads, learn about how Ningyo Joruri got its start in the Edo era and track the development of the art, from its beginning on the neighboring island of Awajishima to its relevance to modern-day-culture. These days an impressive 40 puppet troupes and 50 craftsmen still practice their craft on Awajishima, and 70 troupes and 30 craftsmen in Tokushima.

More Information

Shikoku Region | JNTO Official Website

Tokushima Prefecture | JNTO Official Website




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