〒698-0024 17-2 Ekimae-cho Masuda-shi Shimane Japan
Masuda String Puppets
(Intangible Folk Cultural Assets of Shimane Prefecture)
String Puppets shows began in the late 19th century in Masuda city.
Sankichi Yamamoto, a puppeteer, gave up his business because string-puppet shows became unpopular in Tokyo. He drifted to west, the Kansai area and eventually he arrived at Masuda. He was welcomed by a traditional theater music group “Komatsuren”. Komatsuren started the string-puppet show under Sankichi’s instruction. The components of Masuda String Puppets are puppeteers, a reciter, a shamisen musician and an assistant puppeteer.
Puppeteers are above the stage and give delicate movements to almost 70cm puppet using a small board called yotsume. The marionette is tied to the yotsume board with a number of strings that can range from 13 to 18. It requires experience and skill to control the puppets and make them move as if they were alive.
String-puppet theaters in Tokyo, like Yukiza or Takedaza, operate modernized performance, but Masuda String-puppets Theater operates in old form. It is said only Masuda String-puppets Theater preserves the classic style of string-puppet performance.Go to Programs page
17-2 Ekimae-cho Masuda-shi Shimane Japan