Tonda Puppet Troupe to perform in upstate SC in a limited series in March 2016.

Japanese Puppet Troupe performs in Upstate March 22-26

Tonda Japanese Puppetry Troupe to perform in South Carolina for first time

Tonda Japanese Puppetry Troupe to perform in South Carolina for first time

Don’t miss this.

In a rare trip to North America, traditional Japanese puppetry troupe Tonda Ningyou Joururi  of Nagahama in Shiga prefecture, Japan will be presenting a limited series of public Bunraku performances March 22-26, 2016. You do not want to miss the incredible opportunity to see this centuries-old traditional art performed by masters from Japan. This is their first time in South Carolina.

“We are honored to host these highly-skilled artists for their first visit to South Carolina during Upstate International Month,” says Furman Professor Shusuke Yagi, chair of Furman’s Asian Studies Department. “Their performance will be a truly unique intellectual and cultural experience that should not be missed.”

The performance is free and open to the public and is intended for mature audiences.

Bunraku Traditional Japanese Puppetry

Bunraku Traditional Japanese Puppetry

The Tonda Puppet Troupe, founded in the 1830s, is one of the most active groups performing traditional ningyō jōruri or Bunraku puppetry in Japan, and has been officially designated “Living National Treasures” under Japan’s program for preserving its culture.

Even in Japan, Bunraku is a relatively unusual form of theater, for which people travel great distances to see. The ningyo puppets are meticulously crafted pieces of art approximately one-half or two-thirds life-size. It is with great pride that Japan-America Association of South Carolina and Upstate International are able to include their visit and performances at several venues during Upstate International Month.

Puppets are large, and performed by multiple puppeteers. Story and all character dialogue are performed by a single chanter.

Puppets are large, and performed by multiple puppeteers. Story and all character dialogue are performed by a single chanter.

The puppets are approximately one-half or two-thirds life-size. Three puppeteers must all become one with the doll in order to manipulate it, and they must also become one with, and work together with, the chanter and the shamisen player. It is this striking co-ordination that renders bunraku so outstanding, as the magnificent puppets seem to move about in a human fashion and look like they were alive.

PERFORMANCES

Tuesday, March 22: Furman University
7:00-9:00pm McAlister Auditorium
3300 Poinsett Hwy
Greenville, SC 29613
Contact: (864) 294-3107
Before the performance, be sure to attend the Furman Mini Festival of Japanese Traditional Arts from 3-5pm, featuring sumi-e brush painting, Japanese calligraphy, kyudo archery, aikido, sushi-making, and Japanese tea ceremony, at various locations on Furman campus.
Full article and more information at Furman.edu. 

Wednesday, March 23: Clemson University
7:00-9:00pm Strom Thurmond Institute (Self Auditorium)
Kappa St
Clemson, SC 29631
Contact: 864-656-3311
More information at Clemson.edu. 

Thursday, March 24: USC-Upstate Spartanburg
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Humanities and Performing Arts Center Theatre
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Contact: (864) 503-5661
More information at USCUpstate.edu. 

Saturday, March 26: Pelham Medical Center in Greer
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Community Room in Office Building
2755 South Highway 14, Entrance B
Greer, SC 29651
Contact: Madison Pate 864-530-6000
More information at VisitGreenvilleSC.com. 

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