Puppet show presented at schools for the deaf to promote awareness on disaster prevention

On October 8, a puppet theater company, called the "Deaf Puppet Theater-Hitomi," presented a puppet show titled "Fire of the Rick" in the Kawasaki Municipal School for the Deaf, Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture in the neighboring area of Tokyo. Thirty-eight deaf children enjoyed the performance.

The Deaf Puppet Theater-Hitomi, based in the Modern Puppet Theater Center in the city, will visit 104 schools for the deaf, including the branch schools, nationwide to present the performance in the future.

There are deaf members in the puppet theater company, which has been performing since1980.

The original story, titled "Fire of the Rick," was one of the works by Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn), a famous writer. He wrote it based on folk literature in Hirokawa Town, Wakayama Prefecture, western part of Japan, that the man saved the villagers from the tidal waves.

The puppet show was developed based on the story. The earthquake occurs in the village near the beach where the festival was prepared. Gobee, master of the village, who lived on the hill finds the tidal waves approaching and warns the villagers by putting on a fire on the rick of reaping rice plants that he just made.

The person in charge of the theatrical company said, "We want the students to get prepared against the disaster at any time, and also to know the charm of a genuine puppet show."

Representing all the students, Yoshimi Baba (18), a high school senior, said, "We learned that when the disaster happens, it is important to obtain information through eyes, not the ear."

Source: Kanagawa Shimbun, Oct. 8, 2008

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