Tonda Bunraku Puppetry Hall


Preserving Centuries of Bunraku Puppetry Tradition

The Tonda Ningyō, a local puppetry troupe, represents the traditional bunraku or ningyo joruri performance, a classic form of Japanese puppet theater originating in the 17th century. The hall stands as a unique cultural gem nestled within Nagahama City’s Tonda area, where it houses centuries of history. Its origin traces back to a traveling troupe from Awa during the Edo period. They arrived for a performance but were unable to proceed due to heavy snow. Instead of collecting fees, they left the puppets behind and began sharing knowledge of their practice as a form of appreciation for the support they received while stranded. This act sowed the seeds of the cherished Tonda Ningyō tradition, now preserved and celebrated through regular biannual performances.

The “Tonda Ningyō Kaikan” (Tonda Bunraku Puppetry Hall), established in 1991, serves as a revered repository for this artistic legacy. The hall features not only an enchanting puppetry stage but also houses a comprehensive collection of puppets and theatrical props. It acts as an immersive gateway into the captivating world of puppetry, inviting visitors to admire the artistry and historical significance of Tonda Ningyō and Bunraku. Appointments are required to explore the facility.

Furthermore, the group hosts an annual program welcoming international students for an immersive cultural exchange. This initiative extends invitations to students from various countries, such as the United States and Russia, facilitating reciprocal excursions that foster cross-cultural friendships and global understanding. This immersive experience enriches the lives of local participants and provides a unique opportunity for international students to immerse themselves in Nagahama’s rich cultural heritage, fostering meaningful connections across borders.

Open Hrs

10 am – 4 pm (appointment required)





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