The puppet show "KATAGAKE NINNGYO SHIBAI" was probably performed on the streets of Japanese cities from the 16th to the 18th century. Its characteristic feature is a miniature scene carried on the actor's shoulder. Today, this art form has no successor. We only know drawings from the past, in which puppeteers perform on their own, but also accompanied by musicians and several other actors.
Mouse Sumo is inspired by Japanese folklore. There are various variations of the story (including the famous animation by Hayao Miyazaki). The baseline remains the same. Two mice fight each other: a fat mouse living in the house of a rich man and a skinny mouse living in the house of a poor old man. The skinny mouse loses. Then it eats the old man's rice cake, which gives it strength and it wins. The second fairy tale Hello Kankuro! about the shy bird Kanruko and the wandering puppeteer is one of the most popular performances among Japanese children.
About the artist:
Kusunoki Tsubame is a theatre actor, director, playwright, and performer, the current president of
UNIMA Japan. He directed the production "Theatre Triangle – Four Seasons", which was awarded at the Czech festival Mateřinka, among others. As a director, he collaborated with the Polish Teatr Animacii on the performance Pory Roku. Since 2005, he has run his own independent Tsubame-Ya Theatre. He is a typical representative of the culture of Japanese touring puppeteers.