Photoscape / Teenagers Help Preserve Art Of Puppet Theater

Photoscape / Teenagers help preserve art of puppet theater

By Masanori Inagaki / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerLeaders of traditional puppet theater are working to pass their art on to future generations, holding workshops for younger people and energetically performing in Japan and overseas.

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo is a puppet show in Hachioji, Tokyo. The Nishikawa Koryu Troupe headed by fifth-generation leader Nishikawa Koryu, 64, is working hard to ensure its art survives.

Photoscape / Old Train Just The Ticket For Book-hungry Kids

Photoscape / Old train just the ticket for book-hungry kids

By Tsuyoshi Yoshioka / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerAfter school and kindergarten, children gather at a yellow train car resting in the corner of a Tokyo housing complex in the Misumicho area of Higashimurayama, Tokyo. The old Seibu Railway Co. train carriage, which once ran along an important railway line for local residents, is the home of the Kumegawa train library, which mainly targets children.

The carriage, which holds about 5,000 books and is operated by 25 volunteers, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Noriko Munemura, 46, visited with her second son Taishiro, 6. "He can concentrate on reading here more than at home," she said with a smile. The library also serves as a place for parents and locals to talk and interact.

Photoscape / End Of An Era For Shimokitazawa Market

Photoscape / End of an era for Shimokitazawa market

By Kazuki Wakasugi / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerThe brown, light blue and gray tin roofs of Ekimae Shokuhin Ichiba, a shopping street whose name literally means a food market in front of a station, form a patchwork in front of Shimokitazawa Station in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. This small strip has been popular for many years but is destined to disappear as early as this autumn.

"It used to be crowded with so many customers it was hard to walk along the street," said Yu Hirota, who operates the clothing shop Americaya, recalling the old days. The 81-year-old has been selling U.S.-made jeans and other clothing he procured from sources such as U.S. troops stationed in Japan, as well as food and other items, for more than 60 years. He has decided to shut up shop for good because of the street's scheduled demolition.

Mother Crafts Kendo Gear, Passes On Skills To Daughter

Photoscape / Mother crafts kendo gear, passes on skills to daughter

Photographer Beautifully embroidered "do" breastplates for kendo are displayed on the shelves at Kobayashi Isshindo Budoguten, a Japanese martial arts equipment shop in Machiya, Arakawa Ward, Tokyo.

At the shop, which marks the 150th anniversary of its foundation this year, fourth-generation shop owner Reiko Inagaki, 64, is busy repairing the protective gear worn by kendo martial artists every day.