One of the most exciting moments of the Congress of UNIMA was the award ceremony of the Women ‘s Commission to the Japanese puppeteer Noriko Nishimoto installed for years in Australia. The time of delivery was magnificently solemnized by Tamiko Onagi and Darja de Caluwe, both dressed in an elegant Japanese kimono. In short and exciting words, Tamiko Onagi read the agreement of the Women’s Commission to award the veteran puppeteer closely related to the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. The prize consists of one puppet made by Damiet Dalsum.
We reproduce here a few words already published in this journal by Jennifer Pfeiffer, President of UNIMA Australia: “Australia is a large country and with communities spread widely apart. Australia has no long puppetry traditions, any being the vicinity of only 200 years, since no indigenoes puppetry forms seem to exist. There are few people that we can name as contributors to what might serve as what could be called definitive Australian puppetry styles that display Australian identity. With these circumstances we continue in our struggle to establish these legacies for the puppetry arts in Australia, the fortunes of puppetry having considerable ebb and flow over the last decades.
“Noriko is a person who has consistently contributed to the puppetry arts, to it’s genealogy and legacy, she is indeed a quiet achiever. There is a generation of young, new puppeteers on the eastern side of the country who I am sure, have not yet heard of her. Yet she teaches, inspires, and encourages young puppeteers in her home state of WA, and if they are anything to measure by, we need more of Noriko in the rest of the country, and beyond. Her work is a credit to puppetry.”
Attached to this note some of the photos taken during the award ceremony by Jim Tobias.
Tamiko Onagi and Darja de Caluwe
Darja de Caluwe, Tamiko Oangi and Ranjara Pandey