Awaji Puppet Theater
Awaji puppet shows began about 500 years ago when Hyakudayu, who is said to be father of puppeteers crossed over to Awaji from Nishinomiya and taught the art to local people. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the 44 theaters were vying for supremacy, not only in Awaji but all over Japan. There are approximately 80 puppet theaters remaining in the country. Bunrakuken Uemura, the founder of Bunraku, which is a certified world's cultural heritage, is from Awaji Island, and traveled with a puppet show in his youth. Awaji puppet theater is currently designated a inportant intangible folk cultural asset by the government, and shamisen player Yuji Tsuruzawa is designated a living national treasure.
Awaji puppets consists of high artistic quality kashira, trunk and clothing. The puppets are manipulated by three puppeteers dressed in black. One controls the legs, one the left hand and the other the right hand and kashira. The puppet comes to life when the three work in perfect coordination. Combined with the dramatic storytelling of the gidayu and the dignified plucking of the samisen, the rustic stage comes to life with emotions that exceed those of a real human being.
Danjiri and Danjiri Chorus
Awaji Island has a profusion of festivals. There is said to be a total of 300 danjiri in the greater Awaji area. The main is the futon danjiri with five layers of red futons. The danjiri are pulled around by shrine parishioners in spring and fall. Created as a group performance based on puppet shows as a sideshow for festivals, the danjiri chorus is also known as jorurikuzushi. The chorus skillfully takes highlights of the story and puts melodies to them. The songs are arranged using danjiri taiko drums and clappers, and there are chorus tsurebusi and solos called puppet katarikomi like storytelling and furi like fork ballad. Katari is placed in the intervals of the chorus and solos. Many chorus groups have sprung up recently and contests are held. The singing is now considered a folk art of Awaji.
Waka that have Awaji Island as a theme
[ The Anthology of Myriad Leaves ]
[ A Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry ]
[ New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry ]
[ Kinyosyu / Ogura Hyakunin Isshu ]
[ Sankashu ]
[ Kinkaisyu ]
[ Shuiguso ]
[ Shin Chokusen Shu / Ogura Hyakunin Isshu ]
Modern literature that has Awaji Island as a backdrop
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center
1 Yumebutai, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-2306 Japan Phone: 81-799-74-1020 FAX: 81-799-74-1021
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