by Hoichi Okamoto
Supported, in part, by a grant from the Asian Cultural Council
This engagement is a part of a nationwide tour made possible with the support of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.
DONDORO was founded by solo artist Hoichi Okamoto in Tokyo in 1974. In Tokyo for the first six years, Dondoro appeared on stage and TV as well as in special events and parades. Despite his success, Okamoto left Tokyo in 1980 to seek purer and more spiritual parts of Japan. With a walking caravan, Dondoro explored mountain districts, performed in the gardens and shrines and continued searching for the spirit of puppet theatre. Eventually settling in Inano, Nagano, in 1986, Dondoro has since performed annually in the Lida Puppet Festival there. In 1988, Dondoro began performing in the Asian Monodrama Festivals held in a different country each year. He has since toured Japan and several times to Europe appearing at major festivals and other venues throughout Germany as well as in Holland, France and Eastern Europe. Other recent works by Dondoro include Keshin, Metamorphoses, Mad with Winds, Illusion of the Darkness and Flame Woman. Kiyohime Mandara, the story of a young monk, who deserts his betrothed, is based on one of Japanšs most famous traditional tales and it has been performed in all of Japanšs classic art forms including noh, kabuki, and bunraku, as well as music and dance presentations.