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MONDAY

In the West, puppet shows are for kids, but in Asia they have traditionally drawn audiences of all ages (though generally of the working classes). The great 18th-century Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu wrote many of his scripts for puppet theater, although they’ve subsequently been adapted to other forms. Tonight’s showcase of joruri puppet theater will include the playwright’s Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a love-on-the-run tragedy famously filmed by Kenji Mizoguchi as Chikamatsu Monogatari (“A Story From Chikamatsu”). The puppet drama will be performed by Awa Kogeiza, a troupe that maintains the style once popular in the small farming villages of the Tokushima area. Also featured is Tansoden Koreiryu Nihonshidokai, which will offer poetry readings accompanied by singing, calligraphy demonstrations, and sword-dancing. At 6:30 p.m. at the Japan Information and Culture Center, Lafayette Centre III, 1155 21st St. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 238-6901. (Mark Jenkins)

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