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A Kamishibai is a certain number of loose sheets of thick paper that have a drawing on the front and text on the back. A kamishibai is performed by placing the papers into the stage (Butai) in the correct order, facing the children, and sliding out the pages one by one while reading the text.


Kamishibai is a culture for children, created in Japan. They say it was born in the 1930s in a traditional shopping and residential area of Tokyo. 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 549 members within Japan, and 281 oversea members spread across 45 countries and regions.

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.


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.
For this reason two movements are important in the process of performing Kamishibai: "sliding the sheet out" and "sliding it back in".

2.Because the text is written on the back of the drawings, Kamishibai "always needs a performer". The performer "faces the audience" to convey the content of the work.

3.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:


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

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