Shinjuku and Puppetry

Today's highlight was going to Shinjuku to attend a performance of The Little Prince by Jo Taira, an excellent young puppet performer, who performed earlier this year at a festival in Seattle.  Check out his website if you want more information.

First, I want to note how safety-conscious things are.  Overnight this presumed construction site popped up, complete with flashing lights and an animated flagman sign.  If you bump into something it's your own fault.

Went to the station and met my coworker Kazue, who walked us over to the Puk puppet theater, which was established more than 40 years ago.  This performance was a 1-week run.

The one-man performance was more than 2 hours, and although I don't understand much Japanese, Jo conveyed the story and the emotions of the characters so well, through personality and voice, that I generally knew what was going on, even though I just had a basic review of the story.  Definitely someone worth watching for in the future.  Afterwards we spoke with him and the producer, and some of the other staff.  A very nice crew and a very fun time.  Earlier, I had bought some photos they were selling, and am showing copies of them here with their permission and acknowledgement that the 4 photos below are copyright Jo Taira and company.

First, Jo and the Little Prince. 

The figures of some of the characters from the book.  Jo plays the role of narrator and uses these characters during their scenes.  Even though they don't move, his motion and expressiveness moves the story along very effectively.  Left to right, the Lamplighter, Businessman, Geographer, Drunkard, King, and Conceited Man.

This is not a scene from the Little Prince, but was of a children's play about animals, done at another time.  I thought it looked like a neat production.

After leaving there, Kazue showed me to a very large electronics store in the area where they had computers, cameras, the works.  I browsed there for quite a while, then headed back to the subway.  I noted the architecture of a few government buildings in the area:

That's it - now you're up to date.  See you soon!