A gallery devoted to the work of Kihachiro Kawamoto (1925-2010), who crafted puppets for the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) productions of "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" and "The Tale of the Heike," opened in early June on the eighth floor of the new Shibuya Hikarie shopping center in Tokyo.
Fans have been flocking to the gallery to see the puppets of Chinese heroes and Japanese warlords.
Puppet artist and animation creator Kawamoto was born and raised in Shibuya Ward's Sendagaya district, where he also located his studio. After "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (1982-1984) went off the air, the puppets from that series were donated to the Kawamoto Kihachiro Puppet Museum in Iida, Nagano Prefecture.
At the request of Shibuya Ward, Kawamoto began work on remaking the 140 puppets from "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms," but died after completing only 48 of them. On June 4, the ward opened the Kawamoto gallery in Hikarie, along with a remodeled ward resident service center and other facilities.
The gallery currently features about 30 puppets including Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and Cao Cao from "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms," and Taira no Kiyomori, Taira no Tadamori and Minamoto no Yoshitomo from "The Tale of the Heike" (which was broadcast from 1993-95).
According to the ward's Intercultural Exchange Promotion Section, the gallery has been a popular attraction, drawing about 700 people on weekdays and about 1,000 visitors on Saturdays and Sundays, many of whom are repeat visitors.
"The gallery is close to the station, so we'd like ward residents as well as people from elsewhere to come and see it," said a gallery representative.
Admission is free. The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, except during the New Year's holidays and days when the displays are changed.
- « Prev
- Next »