A performance of two works from Yukio Mishima’s collection “Modern Noh” (An adaptation of all forms of Noh songs), Aoi no Ue (The Lady Aoi) and The Pillow of Kantan, performed with only marionettes. The twilight world of “Modern Noh” has been performed on stages all around the world, but using marionettes rather than actors allows for a more aesthetic and colorful experience.
“Do Mishima’s words realyy match well with living actors? Wouldn’t lifeless marionettes suit them better?” asks Magozaburou Youki. He believes that the unique twilight world becomes clearer and more fantastic when dolls are the performers.
Direction: Osamu Matsumoto / Doll Artist: Seiichi Hayase / Music: Neko Saito
YOUKIZA (National Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property / Intangible Cultural Property, Tokyo)
An almost three hundred eighty-year-old marionette theater company was founded by Magozaburou Youki in 1635 and is currently led by Magozaburou Youki the 12th. In addition to traditional marionette theater, they also perform magic-lantern plays. In their new works, many of which have been staged abroad, they create a unique stage production by combining traditional puppetry with magic lantern pictures as well as live actors.
Magozaburou Youki the 12th
Born in 1943. Second son of Magozaburou Youki the 10th (Sessai). His first appearance onstage was at age 4. At 11, he joined the Takechi-Kabukiza troupe. He learned Noh from Hideo Kanze, and Kyogen farces from Sennojou Shigeyama. At 29, he took the name of Senyu Ryoukawa, a famous Edo magic lantern play artist, and brought back the Edo Magic Lantern to the 20th century. Along with being a puppeter, he also worked as a magic lantern dramatist. In 1993, he changed his name to Magozaburou Youki the 12th. In 2004, he began giving beginner classes to the public on puppeteering in order to foster young talents, and explored a new way for the future development of Japanese puppetry. Not content to limit himself to traditional puppetry, he works on commissioned and foreign performances as well, and is working to create new types of plays.
3-18-2 Nukui-Kitamchi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-0015
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Theatre East, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Toshima City, Tokyo)