Momotaro, The Peach Boy The Story of Tanabata Hats for the Jizos Urashima Taro How the Years Were Named The Tongue-Cut Sparrow



Comments & Sharing

"Telling stories that you can watch is a practice thousands of years old and loved by all ages, and one that historians have found all over our world, from Japan to Indonesia, to India, the near east and throughout Europe. What more wonderful way to enrapture children than to enthrall both eyes and ears at once – with Kamishibai – Japan’s special refinement of the art of storytelling, especially for children."

Dr. Barbara Ruch, Director
Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies
Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture
Columbia University , New York City

"One truly enters a new dimension of storytelling with kamishibai. Whether reading the scripted stories, developing storylines from the pictures or using kamishibai concepts to illustrate and write their own stories, student and adult imaginations abound. Rarely does a single tool provide such an expanse of educational potential!"

Judith Rubin, Librarian
Griffith Middle School
Los Angeles , CA

I first have to tell you that I haven't seen my kids this excited about something since I first introduced them to the Internet in the 1990's!  They were spellbound and couldn't WAIT until that time during the day when they got to do "Kamishibai."  I used my high-level 3rd grade skills class (about 21 students) to do a unit on kamishibai.  I first introduced them to the country of Japan and the culture there.  Next, I began reading several kamishibai stories.  You can just imagine the curiosity and wonder about what was in that "little brown box!"  Students paired into groups of 2, picked their own kamishibai story, practiced it several times, and then read it to some of the kindergarten and 1st graders in our school.  These children were SPELLBOUND listening to the stories and waiting for the cards to change.  My 3rd graders also tried their hand at writing and illustrating their own kamishibai stories and performing them for each other.  I must say that this is a unit I will do every year. 

Thanks for working so hard and bringing Kamishibai to students who would otherwise never know it existed! 

The following are comments from my students: 

Keaton: "I liked the way you used the stage box and the cards to tell the story." 

Sharreah: - "I love the kamishibai stories.  They are wonderful." 

Alyssa: "I thought it was very, very neat!  Thank you for sending this to us!"

Callie: "I thought kamishibai was really fun, and I wish we could do more!"

Kelsey: "It was the coolest thing that we did in skills!"

Alexis:  "I love the kamishibai stories and I wish we could do them again!"

Jana Ruf, Media Specialist/Technology Contact
Belington Elementary School
Belington, WV

All the staff finally had a chance to see the DVD.  The viewing was very helpful as the power of the voice, timing and storytelling technique relative to the movement of the kamishibai cards becomes quite evident. 

We used Little Chick in the Reading Readiness session on Wednesday and met with much success and an unusual amount of acknowledgement from the patrons.  Our preferred audience for this session of stories, songs, finger rhymes and crafts is 3-5 years but inevitably, the crowd contains infants and older children as well as fatigued caregivers who, despite their best efforts, can barely sit through another round of Eeensy-Weensy-Spider.

There was an instant response!  The hyoshigi clappers broke through the creative chaos of such a mixed age grouping and the theatre structure itself had a magical way of focusing attention and framing the story. 

Staff members watched in admiration as all eyes followed the cards and a quiet hush fell over our patron.  At the end, several parents spoke about their delight in this new technique.  We look forward to making kamishibai a regular part of our story-times and are already conferring among ourselves as to which titles the next order should contain.

Thank you for introducing kamishibai to us!

Nancy Hurxthal, Librarian
Boston Public Library

"One of the things I most enjoy about the kamishibai is the interactive, participatory aspects. The children love repeating the chants and acting the stories out!"

Karen Mills-Heron
Librarian Fishkill Plains Elementary School
Wappingers Falls , NY

"I work with 7th and 8th grade at-risk readers. When we began our folktale unit,I told a story using the kamishibai cards. As I began, a hush fell over the room of normally rambunctious kids. They listened with total attention and applauded when the story was finished. Later I gave groups of students the opportunity to use the cards to tell stories to the class. They were able to do this very well! Although they rehearsed the story, the fact that it was printed on the backs of the cards meant that they wouldn’t forget their lines. In addition, having the “prop” of the cards diminished their anxiety about speaking in front of their classmates and also helped focus the attention of the listeners. The discussions were lively and prompted the students to think about things in new ways. I’m so happy to have found kamishibai and thank you for distributing this resource in the United States!"

Mary Tigner-Rasanen
Kellogg Middle School
Rochester , MN

"My students applaud when the stage comes out! Our students (and parents!) love the presentations of the kamishibai stories. The synergy of storytelling with the beauty of the storycards is a winning combination. Kamishibai have an absolutely magical power!"

Susan Howard, Librarian
Windermere Primary School
Pflugerville , TX

"I am an art teacher. I have 19 different classes from kindergarten through 6th grade, including bi-lingual and special ed. Whenever I use the kamishibai, the children’s reactions are amazing; they sit, they listen, they connect with the story - it’s a miracle! Also, the children love being authors and illustrators of their own kamishibai. Besides their stunning visual qualities, they are a great literacy tool!"

Francine Fallick
Art Teacher, PS/MS 195
Bronx , NY


"I enjoy telling stories to students. The kamishibai are special because they combine aural learning with visual learning to convey a great story. At first glance, one might mistakenly guess that these stories are only for young children - but my 16 and 17 year old students love them! A major project for my Japanese History students is to design their own kamishibai to tell the story of some aspect ofJapanese history."

Patrick Grant
History Teacher, University Prep
Seattle , WA

"Do we use the kamishibai?! We love them! I love them, my teachers love them, the children love them - they are absolutely magical!!"

Chris Dewees
Director, The Schoolhouse in Flourtown
Flourtown , PA

"The kamishibai are a major league hit with all my classes. “Do the kamishibai, that what we want!!” the children chant. I already have nine stories and they want more!"

Lorraine Wiener
Librarian, Soleado Elementary School
Rancho Palos Verdes , CA





Kamishibai for Kids ~ Cathedral Station ~ PO Box 629 ~ New York, NY 10025
Tel: 212-663-2471 ~