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 Isshi Youki is the third son of Magosaburou Youki X (late Sessai Youki) in YOUKIZA, the marionette company that originated in the Edo Kan’ei period.

 He made his debut at the age of five.

 After he succeeded to the third Isshi Youki in 1972, he appeared to be one of the major players in YOUKIZA; he collaborated with a number of directors in ambitious works of creation, and led the company.



Founded Office Acephale, independent from YOUKIZA



April 2006

First Classic Performance of EDO ITOAYATURININGYOUZA

December 2007

Performance “Botan Dourou” in Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris

May 2015

Performance “Turionna/Suzugamori” in Czech and Slovakia

June 2015


October 2015

Invited to Università di Bologna (Italy) for symposium “Tradition and Avant-Garde”


 Japanese string puppets flourished around the third year of Genwa and for 390 years since then; however, in the Meiji era, it started to decline.  

Under the circumstances, Magosaburou Youki IX appeared as the savior.

Magosaburou IX took classical Ningyou Joururi from the Edo period into his guts, and made innovation to the art.

 For example, he made puppeteers say dialogue for their puppets by themselves.  Other marionette groups condemned Magosaburou’s unorthodox venture, but the changing modern society chose his innovated marionette show.

 All the other old-fashioned string puppet groups extinguished in the waves of the time.

 Today the only survivors are the successors of the Magosaburou Youki IX who created the new stream in the Meiji era.

 ITOAYATURININGYOU “ISSHI-ZA” is founded by Isshi Youki, a grandson of Magosaburou Youki IX.  

 The group is the legitimate successor of Magosaburou IX; its active and motivated presentation includes classical repertories as well as new creations in collaboration with new directors and writers.

Isshi Youki / Biography


1948  Born as the third son of Magosaburou Youki X (late Sessai Youki) in YOUKIZA.  His debut was at the age of five.


1972 Succeeded to the third Isshi Youki.  Being the core of the successors in the classical marionette theater family since the Edo period, he also set forth a number of new original collaborative projects for creation with avant-garde directors such as Makoto Sato, Takeshi Kawamura, Masahiko Akuta, and so on.


2002  Led Japan-France collaboration project featuring Frederic Fisbach, the up-and-coming French director.  The production “Le Paravents” (originally written by Jean Genet) ran in the Theatre National de la Colline in Paris for one month (25 shows) with applause.


2003  Returned to France with “Le Paranents” for shows in several cities.


2003  Independent from YOUKIZA




2015  Renamed the group to ITOAYATURININGYOU “ISSHI-ZA”.  

The group seeks to redevelop the tradition; for modern shows, it produces challenging works of theater in collaboration with artists beyond borders.  In June, Isshi and the company visited Czech and Slovakia; the show “Turionna/Suzugamori (excerpt)” was well received.

New Project for June 2016: in the Kanagawa Arts Theater, Japan-Czech collaboration of string puppets will be produced.  The plan is in progress.


Stage Appearance

“Macbeth” (director: Makoto Sato)

“Aru Ningyoushibaino Ichizaniyoru Hamlet” (director: Yoshiyuki Fukuda) Hamlet

“Othello” (director: Yoshiyuki Fukuda) Othello

“Unchain My Heart” (director: Masahiko Akuta) Sakase

“Artaud 24 ji” / “Artaud 24 ji ++ Futatabi” (director: Masahiko Akuta) Artaud

“Turionnna” Taroukaja

“Keijou Koibikyaku” Chuubei & Magoemon

“Tunayakata” Watanabenotuna

“Kyara Sendaihagi” Yashio and Otokonosuke



- Participation to Nancy International Theater Festival (France)

- In BITEF (Beograd International Theater Festival), “Macbeth” (directed by Makoto Sato) won the Special Prize and the Local Government Prize.  Toured to many countries in Europe, Americas, Oceania, Southeast Asia, Middle East, etc.

Isshi Youki is the leader of ITOAYATURININGYOU “ISSHI-ZA”.

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