The great ningyo joruri and kabuki playwright CHIKAMATSU Monzaemon (1653-1724) had deep bonds with Amagasaki, and his grave is at the Kosaiji Temple in the city. To commemorate the seventieth anniversary of its official incorporation as a city, Amagasaki organized a community development project under the name "Chikamatsu Now" with Chikamatsu as its theme. The project marks its seventeenth year in 2002. Its achievements include the construction of a Chikamatsu Memorial Hall and Park, Chikamatsu Opera and contemporary dramas submitted by members of the public, and the establishment of a Chikamatsu Prize to foster new artistic works such as contemporary dramas in the spirit of Chikamatsu. In addition, some 30 events are held each year between September and November.These include kabuki and bunraku performances, tours, and Seminars. Two-thirds of these events are put on by local residents and organizations based in the city of Amagasaki.
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