Public Interest Incorporated Foundation

Youkiza Partners Club
A search for members who will carry on the tradition of Edo Yarn Marionette

Shinpan Utazaimon : Nozaki Mura
(新版歌祭文 野崎村の段)


The Youkiza marionette company has captivated and delighted audiences since its founding 385 years ago, in the 12th year of the Kan’ei era in the Edo Period. Today, the company returns to its roots and reaffirms its responsibility to pass the rich cultural traditions of puppetry to future generations.

Youkiza is dedicated to training and preservation of tradition even as it navigates the rapid shifts of modern society. Passing on the knowledge and skills of puppetry demands extraordinary time, diligence, and attention to detail. Full-fledged puppeteers are years in the making, and each marionette requires the care and creative vision of an artist to be coaxed fully into form. Curating a centuries-old collection is never easy either!

Great challenges call for even greater commitment from the artists to the performers and to you, our invaluable audience and supporters from around the world. We therefore invite you to engage as partners in this commitment by joining the “Youkiza Partners Club”. The Youkiza Partners Club was launched in 2021, a year also marking the accession of Magosaburo Yuki as the thirteenth descendant of the Magosaburo lineage of master puppeteers, an auspicious occasion as any to keep the light of the Youkiza tradition
burning brightly into the future.

We sincerely appreciate your kind and generous support.

In 2020, after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic

In 2020, the performance scheduled for the end of February was postponed, followed by the cancellation of workshops and performances, and the small theater company Youkiza quickly fell into a crisis of survival.

■Storage of props for marionettes

Though our income has plummeted and deficits have increased, maintenance of our collection, which includes precious marionettes, props, and valuable materials for the future projects, remains a primary concern. Delicate materials require care and we cannot reduce our storage expenses without negatively impacting the longevity of the collection. For us, the marionettes are the most important thing.

■Storage and Repair of Marionettes and Materials

Marionettes are of utmost importance to us.

During World War II, Magosaburo Yuki’s grandfather and his family fled from a war zone taking with them as many marionettes as they carry. Their safe passage has been credited to their many supporters in Morioka, the city from where they were evacuated. That priceless marionettes survived the war and are still with us here today is a testament to the fervent desire of past generations to pass on the marionettes to future generations and to the generous support they received.

Today our challenge is the global coronavirus pandemic, a challenge from which the present generation must not back down for the sake of the marionettes and the hopes they embody of previous generations.

▼A part of a classic head (kashira)

▼A part of the head of a new work

■The next generation of puppeteers

The biggest problem is that the marionettes and puppeteers will lose their place in the world.

The expression and skills of marionettes and puppeteers, which have been handed down orally from generation to generation, cannot survive without the stage. It takes many years of stage performances and rehearsals to train a full-fledged puppeteer. For the veterans who put their heart and soul into nurturing the puppeteers, and for the young puppeteers who will succeed the next generation, it was a huge blow with nowhere to go both physically and emotionally.となりました。

In order for the next generation of puppeteers to pass on the puppets to the future in lively form, we believe that it is the mission of the Youkiza to continue creating the stage.。

How your support will be used

Your support will be used carefully to continue the performance activities and to maintain the operation of the Youkiza.

■Maintaining the operation of the Youkiza

・Providing an environment for the next generation of puppeteers and to train their successors, including marionette makers.
・Covering operating costs to date
・Maintenance costs for the future of the Youkiza

■Continuing performance activities

・Cost of preservation and repair of marionette heads, bodies, costumes, and props
・Storage and maintenance of marionette props
・Preservation and repair of Edo magic lantern
・Preservation and repair of the Edo magic lantern (pictures and lanterns)

Benefits for Youkiza Partners Club Members

■Tax deduction for donations
■Preferential discounts on performances for a limited time are valid until the day of the performance.
■Invitation to the annual “Thanksgiving Party”

Invitation to the annual “Thanksgiving Party” to be held at the Youkiza Studio. The timing may vary depending on the performance schedule of Youkiza and social conditions.
For those whose donations totaled 10,000 yen or more in a year

■Invitations to performances hosted by the Youkiza.
  • For those who donate 30,000 yen or more in a year, we will invite one person to a performance hosted by the Youkiza.
  • Those who support us with 100,000 yen or more in one year will be invited to one performance by the Youkiza as a pair.
Name listing in Youkiza performance program pamphlet

As a member of the Youkiza Partners Club your name will be listed in our program pamphlet. If you do not wish to have your name listed, or if you have a preference as to how your name should be displayed (e.g. a stage name or nickname), please let us know at the time of your application to the Youkiza Partners Club.

Please note that depending on the timing of your application your name may or may not appear in the latest program pamphlet.

*The deadline for being listed in our program pamphlet for the October 7-11, 2021 performance of “Tsubosaka Reigenki” is Sunday, September 19.

For more information on the Club’s courses, tax benefits, etc., please visit this page.