Sofie’s Adventures: Awa Jurobe Yashiki

Diary 2008.6.9



I’ve been living in Tokushima City for five years now (four of them involved a job giving tourist information!) but today I went to Awa Jurobe Yashiki for the first time. They have live shows twice a day on weekends and holidays (11am and 2pm) and once a day at 11am on weekdays.

Pretty good deal at 400 yen a head.

Awa Jurobe Yashiki was renovated last year, and it’s wheelchair friendly. Other than the live shows, they also have displays of puppets, an empty tatami room of uncertain use, a souvenir shop, and a cute little Japanese garden. When the play was about to begin, we could hear the clacking of wooden claves: tat, tat, tat, tat, ta! ta! ta! ta! ta!tattattattat!

Sofie calls every type of Japanese theater Kabuki. She was a little scared at first, but by the end of the 25 minute show, she was happy to clap along with everyone else.

I was impressed by the strange presence of the puppeteers in black, called “kuroko” in Japanese. Once you’ve been watching for a while, they disappear, and the puppets appear to be human. The puppets look particularly alive when they open and close their eyes.

This was part of a display showing how the puppet's head is carved. It looks kind of magical, like the spirit of the wood is coming out.

We went there in Papa’s car, but it’s possible to get a bus straight to the venue from Tokushima station. I would recommend timing it so you can see a live show. The Awa Deko Ningyo Kaikan is nearby, and Ningyo Ken, a high-energy guy with some English ability, will show you all about how the puppets are made and how the different mechanical tricks work. Even if you can’t make the live show at Jurobe Yashiki, it’s worth it to head over to the Deko Ningyo Kaikan to see Ningyo Ken’s talk. People who are interested in the inner mechanical workings of things would like this. In the entrance, there was a panel of photos of famous visitors, and I was pleased to see a picture of the Okinawan afro-haired boxing legend, Yoko Gushiken.

I know it’s not quite in focus, but here’s a photo that Sofie took :
The two characters from Keisei Awa no Naruto, Otsuru and Oyumi. (photo: Sofie)



Canadian living in Tokushima City. Translator, Interpreter, and Sofie's mom.

Articles by Claire


  • I like reading about Sofie's adventures.

    06/09/2008 2:25 AM | JJ

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