Giant puppet from Tohoku arrives in Tokyo

NHK -- Jul 19
A giant puppet named Mocco has arrived in Tokyo carrying messages from the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan.

The puppet which is about 10 meters tall has toured the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. They were hit hard by the earthquakes and tsunami in 2011.

Mocco collected messages from the area which were read on Saturday at an event at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. No audience was allowed for the event.

One of the messages talks of hope that people of the world share the effort and hardship of the disaster-hit area.

During the event Mocco danced to music and a new song based on the messages was sung by a popular singer.

Creative director Yanai Michihiko who is from Fukushima Prefecture came up with the idea of the giant puppet from Tohoku.

He said that he hoped the project would be an element to make the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a showcase of Japan's recovery from the disaster in 2011. He added that the event helps communicate feelings of people in Tohoku and their current situation. - NHK

東日本大震災からの復興をテーマとした東京五輪・パラリンピックの公式文化プログラムが17日、東京・新宿御苑で開かれた。 - Kyodo