Japanese troupe of traditional string puppetry. One of the oldest theatres in Edo (Tokyo), the Yūki-Za (Yūki Theatre) used sekkyō bushi style narrations and was opened about the middle of the 17th century by Yūki Magosaburō whose name the theatre holds. After an itinerant existence due to the loss of the theatre in the 1923 earthquake, the troupe regrouped under the direction of Yūki Magosaburō XI, keeping alive the Japanese marionette tradition playing both older repertoire and contemporary works.

The troupe innovates freely and collaboratively with actors and members of the avant-garde, such as Endō Takuō whose Gorilla, Gorilla was presented at the Nancy Festival in l971. Among notable classical productions are works such as Meido no hikyaku (Courier of Hell, 1711), a “domestic tragedy” of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, played in 2002 under the direction of Satō Makoto, a 1970s avant-garde artist. Another canonical text performed in 2003 from the kabuki and Bunraku repertoire is Meiboku Sendai hagi (Precious Incense and Autumn Flowers of Sendai, also called, The Disputed Succession, 1777). Modern works include the 2002 production at Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo of the ambitious and remarkable production of Jean Genet’s The Screens, which used thirty-three puppets in the French play, normally done by actors. It was directed by Frédéric Fishbach.

(See Japan.)