Japanese group introduces puppetry to Bataan students

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BAGAC, Bataan: Professional puppeteers from Japan for the first time presented recently a puppet show for school children in two public elementary schools here as part of cultural exchange.

Bunraku puppeteer for 29 years Yoshida Minoshiro said they belong to the Ningyojoruri Bunrakuza of Osaka, Japan.

Bunraku is Japan’s professional puppet theater developed in the 17th and 18th centuries in Osaka.

Osaka Rengo, a group of local enterprises in Japan, sponsored Bunraku in Bataan.


“The puppet show is an effort of the Consulate of Japan, Philippine Society of Japan and school association in Mihami Elementary School in Osaka,” Julie Baciles, president of Gabriela Partylist here said.

Baciles said Mihami is a school partner of the Binukawan and Overland elementary schools in Bagac. She said that some school children from the Osaka school were among the delegation to tour and observe Bagac schools.

“This is the first puppet presentation in Bataan and the second in the Philippines,” she added. The group first performed at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City two years ago.

The Japanese puppeteers made a short puppet demonstration with chanting and shamisen playing (string instrument) to the delight of school children.

They also showed story-telling skills and emotional expressions such as laugh, cry and anger.

Imelda Estrada, principal of Overland Elementary School, said she and two others visited Osaka on July 17, 2015 sponsored by the Japanese group. They also attended the school graduation in Bagacon March 2015.

“We toured Mihami Elementary School in Osaka where many Filipinos –Japanese children are studying,” Estrada who was then master teacher in the Binukawan Elementary School said.

Myrna Castillo, former principal of the Binukawan school, said they stayed in Japan for seven days and shared the K-12 program with their Japanese counterpart.

She observed that Filipino–Japanese children in the Osaka school were knowledgeable of Filipino songs like “Leron, Leron Sinta” and the Philippine National Anthem.

Ernie B. Esconde

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