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Kamishibai is a culture for children, created in Japan. They say it was born around 1930. It has spread and been loved among many people not only in Japan but all over the world ever since. Considering the situation, we established The International Kamishibai Association of Japan (IKAJA) in December 2001.
IKAJA now has 559 members within Japan, and 319 oversea members spread across 47 countries and regions. (as of 31 March 2018)

Kamishibai is a part of Japan's unique cultural heritage that is moving forward into a new era. It is important now to create good Kamishibai works which shall be performed by skilled performers, in order to enlarge the circle of the sharing of feelings (Kyokan) between audience, performers and among the people not only in Japan, but throughout the world. The aim of The International Kamishibai Association of Japan (IKAJA) is to foster communication throughout the world between peopl e who are already enthusiasts, those express an interest in the subject and those who wish to perform Kamishibai. It will simultaneously aim to promote the study of the subject from a cultural perspective, learning from each other and establishing Kamishibai as a world-wide art. (from the words of IKAJA's foundation)

We hope that you make a great use of the information sent by IKAJA, and pass the glimmering light of Kamishibai from hand to hand, and from heart to heart.

The basic elements of Kamishibai

Loose sheets that have a drawing on the front and text on the back
Sliding out and sliding in the pictures one by one
Performer and audience
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Why is Kamishibai so fascinating?
It is very important to know about the key feature. First, we take a look at the special "format" peculiar to Kamishibai.

The Special "Format"
The format and movements of Kamishibai cherished for so long include the following:

1.Kamishibai is not bound :
It consists of a certain number of separate sheets of thick paper with a drawing on the front.

2.Movements of pictures:
For that reason two movements are important in the process of performing Kamishibai:
"sliding the sheet out" and "sliding it back in".
  紙芝居の特性       紙芝居の特性

3.The text is written on the back of the drawings:
Kamishibai always needs a performer and audience .
The performer faces the audience to convey the content of the work.
  紙芝居の特性   紙芝居の特性

To make each separate sheet stand out and to facilitate the performer's reading of the text on the back, a stage (or mini-theater, called butai in Japanese) has been used.
The stage has three-part doors on the front.

The above "format" leads to the "key feature" of Kamishibai. If you'd like to know more about it, please read our "Kamishibai Newsletter vol.1"link-icon which we'll forward to you on receiving the completed "the Membership Application Form".

If you want to place an order of kamishibai translated in Englsih and French, the following link is useful:


We have a Mini-Booklet for Let's Perform Kamishibai.
Mini-Booklet (English)
Mini-Booklet (Slovenski)
Mini-Booklet (French)

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How to make it --- You can make this booklet by yourself.
How to fold it (movie) --- You can fold this by another way.


International Kamishibai Association of Japan (IKAJA)
Terakoya, 3-32-15-1F, Inokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0001 Japan

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