Lesson details


Social Studies


Asian Cultures


Japanese Civilization

Recommended Technology: 

Computer and projector or smartboard for video presentations

Other instructional materials or notes: 

Suit of Armor
Winning Without Hands (http://www.artbabble.org/video/asian-art/winning-without-hands and available for download on iTunes U: http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/storytelling-videos/id428135401)
Thick construction paper or card stock for kamishibai cards (6-8 per story)
Drawing materials (paints, pencils, crayons)
Scratch paper and paper for text strips
Envelope or metal rings to secure cards
Optional: tape or glue

Telling Tales with Kamishibai

1-2 hours
Lesson type: 
Project Based Lesson
Lesson overview: 

In Japan, the tradition of storytelling with art dates back as early as the 9th century when Japanese Buddhist monks would use storytelling scrolls to teach religious stories and lessons to an illiterate public. During the Edo period of peace, and onto the Meiji period, picture storytelling shifted from religious to secular stories as a means of entertainment. During the early 20th century, picture storytelling, then known as
“kamishibai” became a way to escape from the hardships of war and economic depression. A kamishibai storyteller would typically ride on a bicycle from town to town and tell stories using picture cards in a small theatre on his bicycle. It became especially popular during the 1920s because of the growth of the silent fi lm industry, which was actually narrated in Japan, and took on the characteristics of silent fi lm dialogue and stage set aesthetics. Kamishibai became so popular, that television was fi rst called “electric kamishibai.” As kamishibai became less popular, these artist adapted their skills to the popular manga and anime storytelling.

Essential Question: 

How can we use kamishibai storytelling to share the Japanese culture with others?

Horizontal Tabs

Lesson created by:
Lesson Partners: 
Contribute Your Own Lesson