The Japan Society
Education Teach about Japan Online Resources

Digital Kamishibai

Subject: English / Other Topics
Level: Key Stage 1 / Key Stage 2 / Key Stage 3
Age: 5-7 years / 7-11 years / 11-15 years
Resource Type: Activities / Presentations / Other
Digital Kamishibai

Kamishibai originates from traditional Japanese street theatre in the form of picture card storytelling. Our digital kamishibai make Japanese stories easily accessible to all. Using these resources you can either:

• Print out and make your own kamishibai cards
• Tell the stories using the presentations

These kamishibai are also available to loan. See here for more information.

Momotaro – Peach Boy

The story of a boy found in a peach, who goes on an adventure to defeat the monsters terrorising his village.

Suitable for both KS1 and KS2.

Kaguya Hime - The Moon Princess (aka The Bamboo Cutter's Tale)

A legend from ancient Japan about a baby girl found in a bamboo stalk who grows up to become a beautiful young woman.

Most suitable for Y4 upwards.

Hanasaka Jiisan -The Old Man Who Made Flowers Bloom

An old couple come into good fortune when they find a puppy, but their mean-spirited neighbours are unbearably jealous. A classic tale of good being rewarded and wickedness receiving its just desserts.

Most suitable for KS2

Tsuru no Ongaeshi – The Grateful Crane

A story from Japanese folklore about a crane who repays the kindness of a man who saved it.

The Story of Tanabata - Bridge Across the Milky Way

This story tells of the annual reunion of two lovers in the Milky Way and is the inspiration for the Tanabata Festival, celebrated in Japan on 7 July (and in some areas, 7 August). The characters in the story represent the stars Vega and Altair. 

Suitable for both KS1 and KS2.

Tsuki no Usagi - The Moon Rabbit

This tells the story of how there came to be a rabbit on the moon. One day, a fox, a monkey and a rabbit come across an old man in need of help.

Suitable for Reception to Year 4.

The Spider's Thread

Originally written by the renowned Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa, this is a moral tale about Kandata, a ruthless sinner who has a chance to escape Hell and enter Paradise because he once spared the life of a spider. 

Suitable for KS3 and above.