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The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson

The Master Puppeteer (edition 1989)

by Katherine Paterson

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674414,200 (3.63)10
Title:The Master Puppeteer
Authors:Katherine Paterson
Info:HarperTrophy (1989), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:ya, japan, 2012, indc

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The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson

  1. 00
    A Samurai Never Fears Death (The Samurai Mysteries) by Dorothy Hoobler (kooiekerhondje)
    kooiekerhondje: Both are about a Japanese boy who suddenly finds himself a part of a Japanese puppet theatre with a mystery to solve. Of course, the Samurai mysteries by Hoobler should be read in order, but it is this one, A Samuria Never Fears Death, that centers a good part of the story around Japanese puppetry.… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
Historical fiction for those who don't think they'd like the genre. I really should reread Paterson's Japanese juveniles - they made such an impression on me when I was in teacher-training. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Jiro becomes apprenticed to a harsh puppeteer at the Hanaza Theater in Osaka, where a series of thefts become the source of excited speculation.
Lexile: 860 [view chart]
  211Fern | Jan 12, 2011 |
An interesting introduction to medieval Japan. I'd love for this book to have more historical background as to the time period it takes place during, but I love the story. A good book for a teen (some pre-teens) who is interested in the culture of Japan ( )
  cjoymr | Jun 13, 2008 |
This is an excellent piece of historical fiction dealing with one of the famine periods in Japan in the 18th century. Jiro is a young boy whose family is almost starving. His father makes puppets for Yoshida, the master puppeteer and owner of the Hanaza Theater. When the volatile Yoshida offers to take Jiro as an apprentice, Jiro leaps at the chance and runs away from home to the Hanaza. Soon he learns that the theater is a difficult place to succeed. No one will teach him what he is supposed to do; he must learn by watching. Jiro is befriended by Yoshida's son Kinshi, who dislikes the cutthroat culture of the theater world. Kinshi helps Jiro and the other boys as they learn the art of puppetry, although he himself is constantly being derided and punished by his angry father.

In the world outside, the famine continues to press the people and spark hatred toward the wealthy rice merchants. A bandit with honor called Saburo makes occasional appearances to trick and steal from the rich to distribute some of the food to the poor. As he struggles to make his way in the theater and take care of his bitter mother, Jiro finds himself caught up in the mystery surrounding Saburo's identity. He asks Okada, the theater's blind senior reciter and Yoshida's former master, for help. This draws him even further into the intrigue as the city roils with the starving peasants and the Master Puppeteer — the elusive bandit called Saburo — moves his puppets in a complicated dance with danger.

This story is written with Paterson's trademark emotional intelligence and deft phrasing. 18th-century Japanese culture is convincingly portrayed, and Paterson takes the time to weave the plots of the more famous Japanese plays into the tale. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and I recommend it highly. ( )
1 vote wisewoman | Aug 10, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064402819, Paperback)

Who is the man called Sabura, the mysterious bandit who robs the rich and helps the poor? And what is his connection with Yosida, the harsh and ill- tempered master of feudal Japan's most famous puppet theater? Young Jiro, an apprentice to Yosida, is determined to find out, even at risk to his own life.

Meamwhile, Jiro devotes himself to learning puppetry. Kinshi, the puppet master's son, tutors him. When his sheltered life at the theater is shattered by mobs of hungry, rioting peasants, Jiro becomes aware of responsibilities greater that his craft. As he schemes to help his friend Kinshi and to find his own parent, Jiro stumbles onto a dangerous and powerful secret....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A boy describes life in 18th century Osaka and the world of puppeteers in which he lives.

(summary from another edition)

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