International Activities

International Activities  2011 ~ 2013

7th Biennial of Puppetry Artists of Slovenia,
Tamiko Onagi visit Maribor
on 12th-15th September 2013

Iida Puppet Festa 2013(Japan)
on 6th-11th August 2013
Special issue for Asian Puppetry Yoshihiko Shibasaki worked
there as one of tutor for create collaboration-works

Visiting Taiwan:
Tomoko Ohashi and Yayoi Sakumavisited Taiwan for creation of puppets that If Kids made request for making puppets

The festival MTERINKA “13” (Czech)
Tamiko Onagi Participated in it on 18th~22nd June 2013

Performance in UNIMA Chengdu,China Invitation stage

[Asataro, the Onion Head]
21st UNIMA Congress & World Puppetry
Festival in Chengdu
Participated; Tamiko Onagi, Hiromi, Takimoto, Ayako Ichihashi, Katsuyoshi Nishimoto, Hiromasa Kurihara, Shizuki Noda, Yasushi Yoshikawa, Sayaka Inoue, Yasushi Ashibe Period; 27th May ~ 3rd June 2012

Performance in Taiwan

Period: 29 September-2 October 2011

[I’m not your Mama][Magical Box]

Attend: Tomoko Ohashi, Yoshihiko Shibasaki, Katsutoshi Nishimoto,

Mamika Kawajiri


by Tan Zhiyuan, from China

Period: 7 March 2012 at Puk Puppet Theatre


by Mr. Bruno , from Rio de Janeiro, (Brasil)

[Marionette Machine]

Period: 11November 2011 at Puk Puppet Theatre ★15th Golden Dolfin

(Varna, Bulgaria)

Period: 1-6 October 2011

Attend: Tamiko Onagi, Lumi Takabatake


Golden Dolfin (Varna, Bulgaria)

Period: 1-6 October 2011

Attend: Tamiko Onagi, Lumi Takabatake


and preparation: Tamiko Onagi, for Women’s Commission of UNIMA

Period: 18-24 June Magdeburg, Germany


Committee of UNIMA in Charlesville-Mezieres

Period: 16-18 September 2011 at Villa d’aubilly

Attend: Tamiko Onagi


Institute Ramon Llull in Barcelona,

Tamiko Onagi

Express thanks for support of Performance-tour in Japan of Fanfarra

Period:23-26 September 2011


of Puppet Theatre for Children from Moscow

Period: 31 July-7 August 2011 at Puk Puppet Theatre

Russia Cultural Festival in Japan

Performance-Tour in Japan by “Fanfarra”

[Full Hands] by Toni Rumbau & Rebecca Simpson (Barcelona,


Period: 19 July-18 August 2011 Performed in Okinawa, Osaka, Nagoya,

Tokyo, Iida, Sapporo and Asahikawa

PUK at the UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry Festival 2008

“Buying Mittens”“NUTCRACKER”

The 20th UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry

Festival were held from April 1st to April 12th 2008 in the Australian city of

Perth. The event was attended by 12 people from PUK: T.Onagi, who is the

vice-president and a member of the executive council of UNIMA, T.Hase

(principal of PUK), Y.Shibasaki, S.Harayama, S.Nakayama, M.Kirioka, N.Ishida,

T.Nakaide, Y.Ashibe, as guest group and    M.Yamagoe,

K.Kadota and S.Yuri.

The quadrennial puppetry festival    Director, Tsuguo Hase

  UNIMA (Union

Internationale de la Marionnette, or the International Puppetry Association) is

an international association that is affiliated to UNESCO and counts among its

members figures in the world of puppetry from 65 countries.  Once every four years, it holds its Congress,

which attracts puppet theatre figures from around the world, and its huge World

Puppetry Festival.


Tamiko Onagi, who is on the Executive Member      of

UNIMA as well as being Vice-president of UNIMA-JAPAN. This role was performed

for many years by the late Taiji Kawajiri, PUK’s director, but after his death

T.Onagi has thus far constantly supported UNIMA’s activities, despite being

faced with many difficult circumstances. She attended the Congress for eight

full days, and elected as chairperson of the Women’s Comm, whose establishment

she had proposed. She is trusted implicitly by all the committee members from

other countries, and I was reminded just how irreplaceable she is for the

international activities of Japan UNIMA and PUK.

UNIMA and PUK were both established in the year 1929, and reach their

80th anniversary together this year. UNIMA is a worldwide organization that,

through the medium of puppet theatre, pursues a spirit of collaboration and

living together, overcoming differences in ethnicity, race, belief, language

and politics. Those of us who participated in the event chatted and shook hands

with people from the puppet world who had gathered in Perth, talked about our

stage performances and work, and spent a most enriching ten days. We were once

again reminded that the work of PUK has gone hand-in-hand with the goals and

spirit of UNIMA, which seeks world peace, and our trip to Australia filled us

with a sense of confidence that the activities of PUK will continue to go on.

Hands, be the painter, the musicians! <2008>

Hiromasa Kurihara, stage director

I first met Nikolina Georgieva in

1989.   Prof. Georgieva was in Japan as

the stage director of Carnival of Animals, a performance featuring the shadows

of actors’ hands, which was put on to celebrate PUK’s 60th anniversary. The

unscripted shadow puppet performance used music from Camille Saint-Saens’  Carnival of Animals, and I was cast in one of

the parts.


had only joined PUK a couple of years before, and had only a limited experience

and knowledge of performance and puppetry. Though I had an enormous sense of

achievement at the end of the final performance, I cannot actually remember

being taught anything by the professor. I just remember her tremendous energy.


now realize that it was just a question of getting on with the work of playing

the role given to me with all my strength. Of course there was none of the

common image of puppeteers, no leeway, no playing – this was work, not



then in 2008, I met Prof. Georgieva again, this time with her grandchild. I

thought she had appeared to have mellowed as she had grown older. But at the

first rehearsal she suddenly said Get the eight puppeteers to move ad lib. It was like being told she wanted to see or

hear an eight-man jazz group improvising. (I felt as much pressure as if I was

being told that our production would be planned around this.) A performance

cannot be produced unless people are prepared to take on board each other’s

skills and expressions as puppeteers. And since there was no script it was not

easy to communicate. I acutely felt the creative issues that PUK faced. The

session involving those eight puppeteers didn’t come to anything concrete, but

it did produce some ideas and images. This clearly was creation, not work. And

the sense of achievement was even richer. Prof. Georgieva also taught me that

shadow puppet performances could still have a real impact on present day

audiences, as long as the performance seems to breathe, as long as it is live.

Thank you, Prof. Georgieva. I wish you good Health!



PUK invite Prof. Nikolina Georgieva, in order to ask lead and

direction of “Carnival of Animals” for PUK’s young

ensemble in this autumn for the program “La Pupa Teatro

12”, the puppet show for grown-up which will be held at

PUK Puppet Theatre, Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Study abroad (Bulgaria)

Student; Mari Kodama

Graduated; “NATFA” National Academy For Theatre and

Film Arts (1 year course for student from abroad) on Feb. 2008

★titirijai 07

International Puppet Festival of Tolosa (Spain) & “Window

to Czecho puppetry”

Period; 24th November~ 2nd December 2007

Participated; Tamiko Onagi

The 18th Asian Monodrama

Festival / Geochange(Korea)

Period; 7th ~ 9th September 2007

Participated; Yuriko Hayakawa, Lumi Takabatake, Ayako Ichihashi

Organized; Asian Monodrama Association

★The Executive Meeting of UNIMA and International Puppet Festival

“materinka 07”

Period; 14th ~ 26th June 2007

Attended; Tamiko Onagi

Organized; The Naives Theatre of Liberec (Czecho)


★Mari Kodama is now studying the design of Puppetry in NATFFA(National

Academy for Theatre and Film Arts/Sofia Bulgaria) Which Prof.

Nikolina Georgieva teaching there.( from on 1st of March 2007)

TEREMAKASHI!(Thank you in



by Machiko Watanabe

It was about ten years ago that we started offering theater-play

workshops using puppets made of newspapers. It does not require

any props and is very inexpensive as all it takes is some newspapers

and some scotch tape to make these simple puppets. But the workshop

has been quite successful, perhaps because children can freely

create whatever they imagine.

This January, I was invited to Malaysia to give this workshop

to Malay children. (It was during last fall’s monodrama festival

in Cheju Island, South Korea that this workshop was spotted but

a teacher of an acting school in Malaysia). But the main purpose

of my visit was to make large-size puppets using carton boxes

and newspapers with the children and then to parade with them

during the Kid’s Carnival organized during a school bazaar.

During the workshop, there were some children who were left out

and other who got easily bored. However, the older students and

adult staff dealt with them exemplarily, showing them understanding

and not forcing them. I was happy to see that Malay children

are brought up with such love. I left Malaysia with love and

respect for Malay people who have similar sensitivity as the

Japanese people.

“A Tiny Pink Dragon” overseas



by Harunobu Shimizu

The seven members of PUK Puppet Theater were invited to Taiwan

by If Kids Theatre Company (Taipei) this March as the first performance

in Taiwan. For this occasion, we chose “A Tiny Pink Dragon” which

has been performed in Japan for many years and popular among

Japanese children.

The performance took place Taipei County Art & Culture

Auditorium, which is located near Taipei City. We performed a

total fo four shows during March 10~11, 2007. The 750 seats of

the auditorium were almost completely full for all of the four

shows. We have prepared as much Chinese lines as possible in

order to communicate the content of the performance. Despite

the language barrier, we were able to communicate the message

of the performance by saying key lines in the play in Chinese

and thanks to Chinese super-title that the organizer had kindly


The vice mayor of Taipei was present among the audience and

I still remember how he had a big smile like a child as he watched

the performance.

On March 12th and 13th, we held a series of workshops on hand-held

puppetry, from of Kuruma-Ningyo, and shadow theater.

Taiwan Performance full of Energy

by Mamika Kirioka

Mr. Tzu-Chang Chao(C.E.O.), the director of the company named

it “IF” with the wish to communicate the importance of having

a dream. Mr.Tzu-Chang Chao saw our performance of “A Tiny Pink

Dragon” about a year ago in Japan and he felt that the main message

of our show was the same as his theatre’s: importance of dreaming.

He says that Pink Dragon not only made the audience laugh but

it had an important story to tell. He wished to show our work

to Taiwanese children and that is how our trip realized.

In Taiwan, we were greeted by numerous press conferences and

TV interview. We were quite nervous as we haven’t had much experience

in giving press conferences but thanks to the PR effort, the

theatre was packed with audience for all four performances that

took place over two days.

As for the performance, the actors and the audience were able

to share a moment full of intensity and energy. For this performance,

we decided to say some of the lines in Chinese. In the beginning,

the audience reacted and cheered every time they heard a line

in Chinese but later in the show, they became used to it and

they were absorbed in the play. Especially in the scene where

Hatch seeks the pink dragon saying desperately, saying “Where

are you? Pink dragon!” in Chinese, we could sense that the audience

is completely taken in to the world we have created on stage.

When the show was over, we were greeted with a thunder of applause.

The enthusiasm of the audience was at a level that we rarely

see in Japan and we took one curtain call after another. Later

at the lobby, we were surrounded by a crowd of people seeking

hand shake and photo.

The members of IF Kids Theatre supported us fully throughout

our stay in Taiwan, taking care of us off the stage and on the

stage for preparation. So much so that by the end of the very

last show, we were so moved that we hugged and cried with them.

We felt that the success of our performances was owes everything

to our working together. We communicated in a bit of Japanese,

Chinese and English but we managed to understand each other.





May 24th until June

5th 2004,

“Aya and Jirokichi, the Wolf” embarked on a Balkan Tour, visiting

four countries of Greece,


Serbia-Montenegro and Croatia,

performing in local puppet theatres (except in Croatia

where we participated in UNIMA Festival).


and Jirokichi, the Wolf” is a story about how Jirokichi grows

to love an abandoned child, Aya, with a father’s love as he raises

her. Perhaps thanks to its simple story line, house full of children

were completely taken by the show and

the theatres were filled with laughter and applause wherever

we performed. The Opening

Act incorporating Japanese traditional acts were very popular

and the audiences seemed to be pleased with our effort to insert

lines in local language in the show.


must also not forget the attention and the support of the theatre

staffs. In all the theatres we performed in, we were blessed

with highly talented staffs who are devoted to puppetry and it

is thanks to them that we managed to perform successful shows.


Balkan Tour culminated in Croatia

where we participated in the 19th Congress and Festival

of UNIMA from June 6th through 12th. There,

new PUK members joined us from Tokyo

to perform “Tenshu Monogatari” for adults as

well as“Aya and Jirokichi,

the Wolf” fro children.


Monogatari” is a story of tragic love between a warrior and a

phantom that appears in a castle. Even though most of the lines

were in Japanese, the audiences seemed to be taken by the show

and greeted us with a big applause.


of wide age range came to see the two shows and there were long

lines of those who wanted to see the puppets after each show.


also would like to note the devoted assistance of the staffs

of Kalvarija



and share the success of our performance with them.

☆PUK invites PETROVA Maya


Long-awaited Art of Maya Petrova: Maya’s Art Leading Nishimoto’s


Puppet Theatre PUK annualy presents a new work aimed at children.

This year,

we have asked Professor Maya Petrova for the stage design of

our new work.

PUK has a long history of friendship with puppeteers in Bulgaria.

As the Art Workshop that Maya taught in 2001 turned out to be

a great success, and as we were all struck by the magical world

of the artist, we have asked Maya to return this year for another


☆Puppet Fair in SOFIA

Participated: Sachiko Irisawa

Period: 22th~28th May 2003

☆Geryong Mountain God’s Ritual Festival

presented by Gongju Folk Drama Museum

Participated: Machiko Watanabe, katsuyoshi Nishimoto

Presented: “Kappore”, “Nankin-Tama-Sudare”

Period: 16th~20th Apr 2003


Hoshino collaborates in Creating a production of puppetry in

New Zealand

Sponsorship: Capital E’s National Theatre for Children, Wellington

*To provide young New Zealand’s actors with the experience of

working with

Japanese Director/designer experienced in the art of puppetry

Period: 20th Aug~ 21 Sep 2002

☆30th Anniversary



Presentation: Puppet Theatre for grown-ups

Sim Woo-Sung’s Monodrama “Kyolhon-kut”

The Marriage of the souls

Period: 8th~10th August 2001


Teatro Naku presented

“mujeres-a cuatro manos-”

by Sonia Gonzales and Lilian Maa ‘Dhoor

Sponsorship: Venezuela Embassy

Period: 4th & 5th April 1999


Hoshino collaborates in Creating a production of puppetry in

New Zealand

Sponsorship: Capital E’s National Theatre for Children, Wellington

*To provide young New Zealand’s actors with the experience of

working with Japanese Director/designer experienced in the art

of puppetry

Period: 20th Aug~ 21 Sep 2002

★Geryong Mountain God’s Ritual Festival

presented by Gongju Folk Drama Museum

Participated: Tatsuo Satoh, Sachiko Harayama

Presented: “Kappore”, “Sambaso”, “Nankin-Tama-Sudare”

Period: 26th~28th Apr 2002

★Study Abroad -BULGARIA-

Katsuyoshi Nishimoto is now study “puppetry” at NATFIS


-Sofia; Puppetry Department

Period: Sep 2001~ Aug 2002

★8 Days

Tour for Czech Republic

Visited: Divadlo DRAK (Hradec Klalove)

Naivni Divadlo (Liberec)

Play-going: “All Scamper What Feathers Has” at Drak


“Alibaba and Forty Thieves” at The Naive Theatre

Period: 10th~17th Nov 2001

Participated: Toyoko Takeuchi, Tomoaki Fukumura

★The 6th Gonju Asia Monodrama Festival

presented by Gongju Folk Drama Museum

Participated: Naoto Kohro

Presented: “Kappore” and “Sambaso”

Period: 5th~7th Oct 2001

* Puppet Stage “EMI” presented “Three Pigs”


Singapole Theatre Festival For Children

presented by act3

Participated: Tatsuo Satoh, Tsutomu Mikami, Ei Aoki,

Ayako Ichihashi, Shoko Nakayama

Period: 6th~15th Mar 2000

Presented: “Rabbits School””Scarf Fantasy”



Period: 24th Jun ~2nd Jul 2000

Participated: Kiichi Sone, Toyoko Takeuchi, Mariko Kishimoto,

Tamiko Onagi(Council of UNIMA), Junko Arakawa, Lumi Takabatake,

Katsuyoshi Nishimoto, Shizuki Noda, Nobuko Ishida, Keimei Muta,

Mieko Nakano

“Tea-time Japan”

Presented: “Vaudeville” & “Peter and Mollie”

(M.Kishimoto and K.Muta) as the seventh anniversary of Taiji

Kawajiri’s death



BY Prof. Todorka Rouskova and Ass. Prof. Maia Petrova

Theme: “Re: Direction and Design for Puppetry”

Listener: Directors, players, producers, designers, etc. at PUK

Period: 22th Mar ~2nd Apr 2001

*T.Rouskova give an audition to Puk’s player for “Flight

with Gloves” as 30th Anniversary of Puk Puppet Theatre house



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