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Wayang is a strong tradition of puppetry native of Indonesia, especially in Java & Bali.In Java, wayang kulit, an elaborate form of shadow puppetry is very popular.Marionettes are suspended and controlled by a number of strings, plus sometimes a central rod attached to a control bar held from above by the puppeteer.Puppetry is a very ancient form of theatre which was first recorded in the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece.Japan has many forms of puppetry, including the bunraku.Bunraku developed out of Shinto temple rites and gradually became a highly sophisticated form of puppetry.In Taiwan, budaixi puppet shows, somewhat similar to the Japanese Bunraku, occur with puppeteers working in the background or underground.

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The appearance is created of the puppets moving over water.

The origin of this form of puppetry dates back seven hundred years when the rice fields would flood and the villagers would entertain each other, eventually resulting in puppet show competitions between villages.

China has a history of puppetry dating back 3000 years, originally in "pi-yung xi", the "theatre of the lantern shadows", or, as it is more commonly known today, Chinese shadow theatre.

By the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), puppets played to all social classes including the courts, yet puppeteers, as in Europe, were considered to be from a lower social stratum.