The Japanese Awaji puppetry tradition, dating back to the 16th century on Awaji Island, combines dramatic recitation, puppet manipulation and shamisen (a three-stringed lute) musical accompaniment. Awaji puppet artists were famous throughout Japan for their religious and ritual use of puppets in rites of appeasement and blessing.

The Awaji Puppet Theater performance at Cornell's Bailey Hall on Feb. 24, 2009 highlighted Awaji puppetry's elaborate theater sets, costumes and props, and highly refined mechanisms that manipulate the facial expressions of the puppets.

The visit was sponsored by the Cornell East Asia Program, Japan Society, Japan Foundation and Agency for Cultural Affairs.

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