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Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo by the Koryu Nishikawa Troupe

16 June 2023 - 18 June 2023

$280 – $380


The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has invited the Koryu Nishikawa Troupe, a Japanese traditional cart puppetry company, to make its Hong Kong debut and stage three puppetry performances of “Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo” in mid-June, showcasing the important intangible folk cultural property passed since the late Edo period to Hong Kong audiences.

Different from the traditional bunraku-style puppetry, Kuruma Ningyo requires only one puppeteer who sits on a kuruma (cart) and controls the puppet in smooth and detailed movements with his own hands and feet. The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe, located in Hachioji, Tokyo, was established 150 years ago. Its founder created the puppetry performance form of “Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo”, which has played an important role in the transition of Japanese puppet theatre, and has been designated as an “Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property” in 2022 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan.

The troupe will present three plays of traditional theatre repertoire of Japanese folk customs in Hong Kong. The opening performance, “Sanbaso”, will feature a series of traditional dances for a good harvest and peace as well as success on the stage. “Tsurionna” tells the story of a daimyo and his servant who visit a Shinto shrine to pray for a good match. In their dreams they are given a fishing rod, which brings a surprise to everyone. As the finale of the programme, “Yajisan and Kitasan” (Excerpts) will lead audiences on a mysterious journey, as they take a trip to Kyoto and encounter all kinds of strange things when they walk near a graveyard.

“Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo” by the Koryu Nishikawa Troupe will be performed in Japanese with Chinese and English surtitles. It will be held at 8pm on June 16 and 17 (Friday and Saturday), and at 3pm on June 18 (Sunday) at the Theatre of Hong Kong City Hall.

Each performance will run about one and a half hours with an intermission of 15 minutes.

Moreover, a workshop (conducted in Japanese and Cantonese) will be organised, in which the puppeteers of the troupe will introduce the history, puppet parts and control techniques of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo. Participants can also experience the fun of controlling the puppets. The workshop will be held at 11am on June 18 at the Theatre of Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $150 are now available at URBTIX: https://www.urbtix.hk/event-detail/9922/

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