On August 3 and 4 August, 2019, members of the general public were able to view the progress of construction of the MOCCO giant puppet at the MOCCO production workshop at the Takamori-machi Agri Exchange Center in Nagano.
This special event was held in conjunction with the Iida Puppet Festival, which was held in the neighbouring city of Iida. Many visitors came from around Nagano Prefecture and other prefectures to see the workshop with its high ceiling exceeding 10 meters, as well as to learn about the creators’ thoughts regarding reconstruction of the Tohoku Region, which is the purpose of the project. In the workshop, puppeteer Noriyuki Sawa, who is overseeing MOCCO’s construction and manipulation, together with other members of the production team, talked to visitors about the construction process and how the giant puppet would be manipulated upon its completion, further inflating the expectations of many of the visitors.
Production status and visitors’ comments
Now approximately two months after the announcement of MOCCO’s design at the end of May, production of the giant puppet is proceeding smoothly with the support of local volunteers, and the skeleton for the puppet’s hands and feet is now taking shape. Workshop visitors were astonished at the size of the puppet’s parts, which were bigger than expected, and they expressed their eager anticipation for the puppet to be completed with comments such as “I’ve never seen a 10-meter high puppet!” and “I’m looking forward to 2020 when the puppet can move.” In addition, since Takamori Town has ties with Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture through support provided at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, some visitors also said, “I want the children of Minamisoma to be able to see the puppet soon.”
Preparations for MOCCO’s journey, which is scheduled to start in the Tohoku region in May 2020, are proceeding smoothly.