Five years after the end of World War II, citizens in Osaka gathered at Japan's first America Fair, where visitors explored scaled-down recreations of the Statue of Liberty and Mt. Rushmore. In Tokyo, onlookers gawked as live bikini clad models posed in department store windows while the sounds of Thelonious Monk and Stan Getz made their way across the country's radio waves.
Against the sounds of modern jazz and the whirlwind of General MacArthur’s Japanese reconstruction, the country witnessed a decline in traditional performance, specifically those art forms that stemmed from Shinto ritual, such as ningyo joruri. In post-war Japan, many linked Shintoism to Japan's pre-war militarism, and, as a result, puppet shows and traditional festivals, such as Nagoya Matsuri, were discouraged or banned.
However, in 1951, during this new era of bikinis and home television sets, a small town in the mountains of Shikoku gathered together to rebuild a theater dedicated to a lost form of Japanese entertainment - fusuma karakuri.
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