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Experience Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and Geisha Performances at Kagurazaka's Ryotei "Yukimoto"

Updated: 5 days ago


Experience Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and Geisha Performances at Kagurazaka's Ryotei "Yukimoto"


Kagurazaka's ryotei "Yukimoto" proudly hosts the 16th Kagura Goyomi event, featuring the Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo performance. They are honored to invite the fifth-generation headmaster, Nishikawa Koryu, from the Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Nishikawa Koryuza troupe to Kagurazaka for this special occasion.


Experience Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and Kagurazaka Geisha in One Evening


Alongside this unique puppet theater, you will also enjoy seasonal dances performed by Kagurazaka geisha, offering a rare opportunity to experience both the Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and the elegant Kagurazaka geisha in one evening. We warmly invite you to join us for this exceptional cultural experience.



Experience Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and Geisha Performances at Kagurazaka's Ryotei "Yukimoto"


About Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo


Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo involves a single puppeteer maneuvering a puppet while seated in a box-shaped cart with wheels, known as a "Rokuro Kuruma." This ingenious design simplifies the traditional three-puppeteer system, allowing performances with fewer people and in more flexible settings. The puppet’s feet directly touch the stage, enabling dynamic and rhythmic performances. The versatility of the stage setup also allows for collaborations with other art forms, broadening the theatrical possibilities.


History


The art of Kuruma Ningyo was innovated by the first Nishikawa Koryu (born Yamagishi Ryukichi) in the late Edo period, around 1825, in what is now Saitama Prefecture’s Hanno City. He transformed the traditional three-puppeteer Bunraku puppetry into a one-person operation using a "Rokuro Kuruma." The puppet’s feet are fitted with mechanisms that allow it to step directly on the stage, creating a unique vitality in performance. This structural innovation is considered unparalleled globally. In 2022, Kuruma Ningyo was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan.


Mechanism


Head and Arms: The puppeteer manipulates the puppet's left arm and head using their left hand. The puppet's left arm is specially designed for more nuanced movements.


Hands: The right hand of the puppet is directly controlled by the puppeteer’s right hand, while the left arm, known as "yunde," is maneuvered using a combination of whalebone springs at the elbow, a cord over the right wrist, and the fingers on the left hand that also manage the head.


Feet: The puppeteer uses their toes to pinch a device called "Kakari" attached to the puppet’s heels, allowing the puppet to move its feet directly on the stage.



Experience Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo and Geisha Performances at Kagurazaka's Ryotei "Yukimoto"


Event Details and Pricing


Dates: May 22 (Wednesday) from 6:30 PM for 2 hours, and May 25 (Saturday) from 6:00 PM for 2 hours.

Capacity: Limited to 25 guests per session.

Price: ¥35,000 per person (tax included), including unlimited beer, sake, shochu, and highballs, and a course meal featuring seasonal ingredients.

Geisha from Kagurazaka will also serve guests.


Performer Profile


Nishikawa Koryu, the fifth headmaster, based in Ongata, Hachioji. Following his predecessors, he elevated Kuruma Ningyo to international recognition, innovating performance techniques and incorporating modern mechanical elements into the traditional art form. He actively promotes collaborations with other cultural performances and engages in teaching the next generation.


For reservations and inquiries, please contact Yukimoto by phone at Tel: 03-3260-1576.


Join us for a magical evening at Kagurazaka, where traditional Japanese arts come alive in an unforgettable setting.


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