From the shop
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.
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.