The Tessen-Kai Noh Theater Association: Contemporary Plays

The Tessen-kai Noh Theater Association is a renowned Noh performing organization led by Kanze Tetsunojo family. It was established as a branch family of Kanze School in the early 18th century. After the World War II, Kanze Hisao (1925-1978), the first son of Kanze Tetsunojo the Seventh, led the renaissance of Noh and explored its potential through practice and study. […]

Holy Mother in Nagasaki

Written by Tomio Tada Directed & Performed by Kanji Shimizu   At Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, Japan A woman appears to tell about the tragedy caused by an atomic bomb Is she Holy Mother or the spirit of the tragedy’s victim? Story: Pilgrims visit Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki and encounter a priest who talks about the day when an atomic […]

The Tessen-Kai Noh Theater Association


Noh is a traditional Japanese theater with over 650 years of history. Narrative, music, and dance are tightly integrated in this unique art form. Noh plays, often based on tales from traditional literature, vividly depict supernatural beings as well as humans through characteristic mask, distinctive costume, and stylized gestures. Noh was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural […]

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo is a form of puppet theatre created by Koryu Nishikawa I in Japan 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 […]

Shank’s Mare

Shank's Mare

Shank’s Mare was created by American puppet artist Tom Lee, in collaboration with Japanese Fifth Generation Master Puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V using traditional and contemporary kuruma ningyo (cart puppetry) technique, live feed video projection and a haunting score on hammered dulcimer and shamisen. It received 2016 Arlyn Award for Outstanding Puppet Theatre Design. Reviews “You simply won’t see better puppetry […]