Kamishibai, a storytelling method


Kamishibai endured as a storytelling method for centuries, but is perhaps best known for its revival in the 1920 s. through the 1950 s. The gaito kamishibaiya, or kamishibai storyteller, rode from village to village on a bicycle equipped with a small stage. On arrival, the storyteller used two wooden clappers, called hyoshigi, to announce his arrival. Children who bought candy from the storyteller got the best seats in front of the stage. Once an audience assembled, the storyteller told several stories using a set of illustrated boards, inserted into the stage and withdrawn one by one as the story was told. The stories were often serials and new episodes were told on each visit to the village.

The theater group Trencaclosques have given workshops on how to awaken the joy of reading and as the Kamishibai storytelling. Here is an example of work with students from an elementary school. Students have been sequenced and draw the various parts of the story to tell about collectively.

Last modified: Wednesday, 18 January 2012, 7:07 PM