Hitachi Furyumono

Hitachi Furyumono

Early April
This Japanese festival, held in the city of Hitachi in Ibaraki Prefecture, features puppets known as furyumono . They perform on huge floats, some nearly 50 feet high, with five tiers. The front part of the float is concealed by large stage doors, which open to the left and right like extended wings to reveal the puppets performing their plays—usually less complicated retellings of dramas from the Edo Period (1603-1867). The puppeteers must lie down while operating the puppets so that the audience won't be able to see them. A single float may carry as many as 25 puppeteers, along with a seven- or eight-piece orchestra.
The rear part of each float is built to resemble a huge rock. Simpler puppet shows illustrating fables and nursery tales are performed here. The puppetry is part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Hitachi.
CONTACTS:
Japan National Tourist Organization
1 Rockefeller Pl., Ste. 1250
New York, NY 10020
212-757-5640; fax: 212-307-6754
www.japantravelinfo.com
SOURCES:
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 60
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