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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Helping hand: Israeli puppet therapist Daniela Hadasy (left) sits with her hand-made puppets, which she will give to children at two elementary schools in Miyagi Prefecture. JAPANESE PUPPET THERAPY ASSOCIATION / KYODO

Israeli's puppets to help kids


SENDAI — An Israeli puppet therapist will arrive in Japan on Wednesday to visit tsunami-hit elementary schools in Miyagi Prefecture and give lectures in Sendai and other places.

Daniela Hadasy, who has worked at a child medical center in Israel, has been engaged in helping children who suffer from trauma due to the ongoing Palestinian conflict.

According to Hadasy, by using puppets, improvement in children's cognitive functions and communication abilities can be expected.

On Friday, Hadasy will visit the Yamashita No. 2 Elementary School and Nakahama Elementary School in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, and give away 200 puppets to children.

She will bring the incomplete hand-made puppets and have the children finish the puppets by sewing on their eyes. She also plans to hold sessions where children will dance with her puppets and exchange their feelings through them.

Japanese experts welcome such attempts.

"By using puppets for communication, it makes children feel at ease and enables them to tell their true feelings and concerns. It is important for listeners to sincerely listen to the children and do their best to understand their feelings," said Michiko Hara, a pediatrician and chief director of the Japanese Puppet Therapy Association based in Tokyo.

Hadasy will also give lectures at Tokyo Women's Medical University on Thursday, Tohoku University on Friday and another facility in Sendai on Saturday.

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