Puppetry has a long history in China dating back before the 17th century, but it was in the late 1800s that the art came to Taiwan where it thrived. Puppet makers in Taiwan in the early to mid-20th century excelled in the art form, and makeshift puppet theaters dotted streets throughout the country. Many restrictions were imposed on puppet theater under the Japanese occupation to make shows both more Western and more Japanese. Puppeteers from China were not allowed to travel to Taiwan, so a more unique, Taiwanese style of puppetry also emerged. After World War II when the Japanese withdrew, the art once again flourished and came into its own in Taiwan.