For over 300 years, Iida city has been the home of the Joruri puppet show, a traditional Japanese performing art typically accompanied by shamisen music and vocal narration.
In recent years, in an effort to preserve this unique art form, every August, the city has been holding the “Iida Puppet Show Festival”, which has become the largest puppet show festival in Japan. During the festival, more than 200 puppet companies from throughout Japan and around the world gather to perform as many as 400 plays at more than 100 locations throughout the city.
In 2018, Iida city was host to the annual conference of AVIAMA (“Association Internationale de des Villes Amies dele Marionnette – International Association of Puppet Friendly Cities”), where leading figures of the puppet show world from France, Spain and many other countries assemble and perform their stories.
Through preservation of this tradition and internationalization of the puppet show world, Iida city is eager to maintain and promote the two aspects of this traditional art.