The Japan Society

Kamishibai: Onikko (Setsubun)

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

This kamishibai is about the Setsubun Festival. Setsubun means ‘division of the seasons’ and therefore the festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring according to the old lunar calendar. It’s celebrated in Japan in early February. One of the most common traditions associated with Setsubun is bean throwing, called mamemaki in Japanese. During mamemaki, dried soya beans are thrown at someone dressed up as an oni (a creature from Japanese folklore, often translated as demon, ogre, or troll) as a symbolic way of driving away bad luck.

In the story, Kanta is an oni boy who lives with his oni family in a village where they get along with their human neighbours. However, when a new student, Saki, joins his class, Kanta is confronted with prejudice against oni. His sister, Marumi, suspects something is amiss and resolves to get to the bottom of things. 

This original story was written by Kazuko Hohki and illustrated by Aya Burbanks. 

Suitable for Year 2 to Year 6. 


The PowerPoint (PPT), with some animated effects and music, is created to look like a live kamishibai show. The story text is in the notes section of each slide and is designed to be shown as a slide show in 'presenter view', where the text is visible on the presenter's screen only while the audience views the main illustrated slide. If you only have one screen (cannot use the 'presenter view'), or simply prefer to read from a piece of paper, but still want to show the kamishibai in PointPoint, the story text can be printed from the PDF version. 

Please note the PPT file is password protected but can be opened and played in 'read only' format.

Onikko - PPSX (5.8 MB)
PowerPoint Show: opens automatically and only in PowerPoint presentation view. You will need PowerPoint on your device in order to open and view properly.

Onikko - PPTX (5.8 MB)
PowerPoint Document: Use this file if your computer does not support pps or ppsx format.

is designed to be used as printed kamishibai cards (up to A3 size), however, it can still be shown on screen as a slide show using only the story image slides for those who are not using PowerPoint. The file comes with instructions on how to read kamishibai.

Onikko - PDF (36.6. MB)

Additional Resources

Visit the Setsubun page for more teaching resources.


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