Lesson 1

Lesson Preparation: N/A

Additional activity: Students will need a paper plate, plastic fork, textas and sticky tape.

Kamishibai-story teller

Kamishibai in English ‘Paper-theatre’.

Kamishibai in English is ‘Paper-theatre’.

From the 1920s to the early 1960s, Japanese sweet sellers and storytellers travelled by bicycle from town to town, village to village, drawing large, young audiences. Kamishibai men or woman would secure their butai – a wooden structure, half picture frame, half theatre stage – to the back of their bicycle, and would use wooden clappers (hyoshigi) to beckon their young spectators.

The children who had purchased sweets from him were allowed to sit at the front. Once everyone was settled, the kamishibai man would start telling a story – pulling each of his numbered storyboards from the side, and sliding it at the back of the stack, one after the other.

On the front of the boards were illustrations for the audience to enjoy, whereas on the back of the previous storyboard was the corresponding passage, which the storyteller would read aloud.

To ensure repeat custom, the kamishibai man stopped at a cliffhanger point. The children, eager to know the end of his story, would come back and buy more sweets.

The Three Magic Charms

Japanese famous 'Kamishibai' story.


Rakugo is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller (落語家, rakugoka) sits on a raised platform, a kōza. Using only a paper fan and a small cloth as props, and without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical (or sometimes sentimental) story. The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters. The difference between the characters is depicted only through change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head.


Katsura Sunshine

Katsura Sunshine is a traditional Japanese rakugo comic storyteller and television personality. He is originally from Toronoto, Cananda. Katsura Sunshine is the first ever Western Rakugo storyteller in the history of the “Kamigata” Rakugo tradition, based in Osaka, and only the second ever in the history of Japan.

Additional Activity

Uchiwa-Japanese fan

Students will need a paper plate, plastic fork, textas and sticky tape.

1,You will need: 1x Paper plate, plastic fork and textas.

2, Decorate your paper plate.

3, Please note: When attaching the fork, the front of the fork should face the back of the fan.

4, Push fork onto the bottom of the paper plate.

5, Sticky tape both sides of the fork.

6, Owari! Done!