Tonda Puppet Troupe

Through a collaboration with Shiga Prefecture, Michigan’s sister-state in Japan, The DIA will host a rare opportunity for American audiences to experience the unique traditions of Japan’s Bunraku puppet theater. The Tonda Puppet Troupe, founded in the 1830s, is one of the best-known puppet troupes in Japan, and has been officially designated an Intangible Cultural Treasure.

Based in the northern part of the city of Nagahama in Shiga Prefecture, the Tonda Puppets have made international performance tours to Australia and New Zealand that include live musicians and a traditional bunraku stage. Today, the Tonda Puppet Troupe still performs with many of the same puppet heads from their first performances in the early nineteenth century. 


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