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Awa Jurobe Yashiki Theater and Museum


©East Tokushima Tourism Authority  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Awa Jurobe Yashiki Theater and Museum


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

East Tokushima Tourism Authority


©East Tokushima Tourism Authority


Ningyo Joruri, a traditional Japanese 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 era (​1868 to1912​) and Taisho era (1912 to 1926). Here, you can browse rare doll heads, learn about how Ningyo Joruri got its start in the Edo era (1600 to 1868) 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.


©East Tokushima Tourism Authority

How to get there


From Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tokushima Awaodori Airport, it is about 1 hour and 10 minutes by plane.
From Tokushima Awaodori Airport, it is about 20 minutes by car.


184 Miyajima Honura, Kawauchi-cho, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima-ken


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