Now here's an intriguing collaboration. A troupe of puppeteers from Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture and a group of musicians from the small farming village of Hartland in Devon, southern England, have come together to perform a puppet opera, based on a traditional Japanese story about a fox that transforms into a woman, marries and has a child, but must then leave her family to return to the forest. "The She-Fox of Shinoda."

Simon Piggott, who describes his role in the opera's current tour as jack-of-all trades, was in Shinjuku last week. "I'm here to sell tickets, get publicity, do some cooking and pick up nine people from the U.K. on Sunday morning at Narita -- musicians, singers and a lighting man. I'll take them direct to Sado for rehearsals, then off we go. Together with four puppeteers -- three Japanese and one Canadian -- we'll be 15 on tour."