AKUTAGAWA is co-created by Koryu Nishikawa V, the fifth-generation master of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe, and Tom Lee, a Chicago-based puppet artist who performed in the Broadway Tony Award-winning War Horse. Employing traditional cart puppet techniques, music and video, AKUTAGAWA depicts Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s works as well as the writer’s life. Yukio Tsuji, composer, percussionist and shakuhachi player who works on the Broadway, and Chris Carcione, media and theater artist, participated in the production. While the US-based artists were scheduled to come to Japan, it became impossible due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic. For that reason, the video and music were produced in the US, and the piece was performed by Koryu Nishikawa and Japanese artists only. AKUTAGAWA was co-produced by the Troupe and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.
【Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe】
Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe is a traditional puppet company in Hachioji, Tokyo. Kuruma Ningyo is a form of puppet theatre created by Koryu Nishikawa I 170 years ago. It is called Kuruma Ningyo because a puppeteer sits on a kuruma (a wheeled box) and manipulates a ningyo (a puppet). While traditional Bunraku puppetry requires three puppeteers to manipulate one puppet, Kuruma Ningyo requires only one. When the puppeteer is seated on a Kuruma, he can use not only his hands but also his feet to manipulate a puppet. With its feet held on the floor by the puppeteer’s feet, a Kuruma Ningyo puppet can create strong, realistic foot movement such as stomping and running around.
Koryu Nishikawa V
Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe
1566 Shimo-ongatamachi, Hachioji City, Tokyo 192-0154
Hachioji City Art and Cultural Hall (Icho Hall) (Hachioji City, Tokyo)