Puppet Friendly City
Inherited from a rich history of the puppet theater, more than 300 years old (Ningyo Joruri), the city of IIda was founded in 1979 the “Carnival of puppet theaters of Iida”, on the occasion of the International Year of the Child.
On the occasion of the 10th edition of the Iida Puppet Theater Carnival, 1988 was an unforgettable and commemorative year for the city of Iida as a city of international relations through the art of puppetry, thanks to the IIDA organized the World Festival of Puppet Theaters of UNIMA on the occasion of the opening of the Puppet Theater of Iida and the signing of a convention of “Ville Amie” with Charleville-Mézières.
In 1999, the “Puppet Theater Carnival of Iida” became a festival of puppet theaters with the active participation of citizens or puppeteers under the new name of “Iida Puppet Theater Festival”. On the occasion of this festival organized every year at the beginning of August, more than 300 puppeteers, from all over Japan and around the world, give performances. More than 500 pieces are played in the 140 places of the city and outside.
In 1999, the “Sennosuke TAKEDA International Puppetry Memorial Center”, where puppets of “Takeda Ningyo-za (Takeda puppet troupe)” were exhibited, was inaugurated. “Puppet Museum of Kihachiro KAWAMOTO” where the puppets of Kihachiro KAWAMOTO, director and animator specialized in puppet animation, were exhibited. In March 2013, the Puppet Theater Center, a specialized non-profit organization, created so that citizens can enjoy the art of puppetry on a day-to-day basis and provide specific support to the puppet theater.The Center conducts various activities for the production of the theaters while providing children with the opportunity to know this art and carrying out various studies and research relating to the art of the puppet.
Iida is currently known throughout the world as “Iida, the city of puppet theaters”, especially by people evolving around the art of puppetry.