Regional Cultural Asset Portal

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Yamato-cho , Kumamoto
(Seiwa-son)
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Drawing everyones feeling to the puppets against the backdrop of great mother nature: Seiwa-son village - The grand countryside    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 26 minutes
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Around the Horeki era (1751-1764), a Tokushima-style bunraku ningyo, a puppet show, was introduced to the area from Bungotaketa. The drama performed by the joruri (the narrator) and the puppets became very popular among rural villages as a place to learn the right and wrong, loyalty and filial piety, duty and human empathy. By the Kaei era (1848-1854), it is said that there were several puppet companies around the Seiwa-son.
The art went into decline once at the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912), but it revived around the 12th year of the Taisho period (1923). Kindred minds gathered the puppets, costumes and props that used to belong to the nearby companies and set up a bunraku puppet company, Taishoza, and practiced joruri and puppet manipulation, setting performing it as a pastime on the occasion of the Gotaitenhoshuku, the coronation of the Showa Emperor held in 1928, as their goal.
The Preservation Society was established in 1954 in order to strengthen the organization. Ever since, the Society has been fostering successors, preserving and repairing the puppets, costumes and theatrical props, as well as refining the techniques by performing at festivals held in the villages around the Seiwa-son area.

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