How is Okada the master puppeteer?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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In Katherine Paterson’s The Master Puppeteer, the central character of the novel Jiro is a poverty-stricken child who is hired as an apprentice at the Hananza by Yoshida, the master puppeteer in Osaka. Okada is introduced as an old blind man who is one of the reciters at the puppet shows. Then there is Saburo, a mysterious Robin Hood like figure, who steals food from rich and distributes it to the poor. During the course of events in the story, Jiro suspects Yoshida to be Saburo. He goes on to search for the truth even at the expense of his own life. He finds out that Saburo is no one else but Okada. In the end of the novel, Jiro gets to know a very powerful secret. Okada, who seems like a not-so-important character in the beginning of the novel, is actually the teacher and predecessor of the current master puppeteer Yoshida. Since Okada is the mastermind of the puppet shows and Yoshida actually works for Okada, the readers are made to wonder if Okada is actually the real master puppeteer. 


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