The first stage of intensive rehearsals started on the fifth day of our tour, taking place at the Wharf Inn for four days in a row. Director Satou Makoto had a discussion with the troupe members about the performance, looking forward to the final outcome.


We held the second stage of intensive rehearsals from 28 to 31 Aug. at Youkiza's Theatre. Director Satou Makoto rehearsed the interactive parts of the show and then adjusted the individual parts for both troupes. Everyone was doing their best. The stage manager, lighting, sound and technical staff were all present and ready to go. It was even more exciting when we heard early on 31 Aug. that the box office was sold out. Here we come, Za-Koenji Public Theatre!






It was finally time for the first performance on 3 September. The day before, the director told everyone to get plenty of sleep. The group was in good spirits for the afternoon rehearsal. Afterwards, Chiba Radio interviewed the director and the lead puppeteer. At 18:40, the pre-performance introduction by Prof. Takahashi Hiroyuki (高橋宏幸) and Prof. Lin Yu-Ping (林于竝) began. This collaboration is taken seriously by both Taiwan and Japan. Ambassador Hsieh Chang-Ting and Ms Moshimoto Satoko (岸本聡子), the mayor of Suginami City, delivered speeches before the opening ceremony. We presented Suginami with a puppet of God Erh-Lang, one of the main characters in the play, to wish Suginami and Za-Koenji Public Theatre all the best under the protection of God Erh-Lang's powerful third eye.

The opening performance was packed, and the enthusiastic audience was interested in our postcards at the front desk. Although the Japanese audience did not know Taiwanese, art knows no boundaries. Just like when we rehearsed with Mr Yuuki Magosaburo, we spoke Taiwanese and he spoke Japanese, but the communication was still very smooth. Thanks to everyone's cooperation, we successfully completed the premiere performance. After the performance, Ambassador Hsieh and the mayor of Suginami City took a group photo with all the performers. The Taiwan Cultural Centre hosted a backstage celebration party to show their appreciation and gratitude to everyone. Due to the pandemic, it was a simple event. But the interaction was very warm and sincere.







The second show on 4 Sep. was the last show of our Japan tour. The audience outside the venue was still very enthusiastic, queuing up an hour before the show to see us, asking about everything about us, and even asking for autographs or photos when they saw us. Some of the audience watched two shows in a row, and others followed us to every different venue on this tour. We were so touched and reluctant to leave. The post-performance talk after the show was full of questions from the audience, but due to the time constraint, it could only end in about an hour. After completing all the tasks of this trip, everyone started to pack their bags and get ready to return to Taiwan tomorrow.










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