• slide5

    Page one

    The story begins...

  • Kamishibai story telling page

    Text for page one

    The text for each page is displayed on the reverse of the previous page

  • Teaching children with Kamishibai books

    Reading Kamishibai in Schools

  • Kamishibai classroom display

    Classroom display

    The Gingerbread Man goes to reception

Kamishibai, literally "paper theatre", is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan

A storytelling resource that will change your storytime

How can Kamishibai change your storytime?

A video of how Kamishibai works.

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Wendy is using props to support the reading of The Gingerbread Man Kamishibai
Wendy is using props alongside The Gingerbread Man Kamishibai.

What is Kamishibai?


Ok, so the first question isn’t really what is it? It’s how on earth do I say it! One of the most common questions I get asked is, how do you pronounce Kamishibai? It’s quite easy if I break it down. Kah – me – she – bye. Start slowly and maybe add kahme and shebye before going in all the way.

What is it all about? Well, it is a traditional Japanese storytelling, street performance art which translates as paper theatre. This art form was developed in the late 1920’s.

Traditionally a Kamishibai Man would travel around the neighbourhood and from village to village on his bicycle with a theatre frame on the back. Children would know he had arrived at the sound of his wooden clappers, (hyoshigi) an instrument made from wood.

Kamishibai man selling sweets

In order to make money, the Kamishibai man sold sweets.

To earn a living the Kamishibai Man would sell sweets to the children who came to hear the stories. A good performance and variety of stories could help guarantee a good sized audience and therefore more sales of sweets.                   Find out more here.