The Japan Society

Kamishibai: Japanese Storytelling

Subject: Art & Design / English / Other Topics
Level: Key Stage 1 / Key Stage 2
Age: 5-7 years / 7-11 years
Resource Type: Activities / Lesson Plans / Schemes of Work / Videos

Kamishibai is a traditional form of Japanese street theatre in the form of picture card storytelling. Unlike children’s storybooks, the text is written on the reverse of illustrated cards so that the story can be easily read while pictures are shown to the students. As creating and using Kamishibai hones speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, they have many cross-curricular applications.

In this video, professional storytellers Fergus and Mio explain the benefits of teaching kamishibai and how it can be linked with Art, Music, English and Drama lessons as well as increasing students’ cultural awareness.

Scheme of Work

The scheme of work and individual lesson plans provide a range of activities allowing students to engage with kamishibai further and create their own stories. The Scheme of Work is available to download here: Storytelling with Kamishibai Scheme of Work - PDF (1.2 MB)

Visit the individual lesson pages for more Information on the content of each lesson and to download the lesson plans. Lesson plans are available both for the English National Curriculum and  the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. 

Note: This is a new resource and some sections may be revised or updated.

Individual Lessons

Lesson 1: Experience Kamishibai

Lesson 2: The World of Peach Boy

Lesson 3: Develop Story Mapping Skills 

Lesson 4: Build the Story Map

Lesson 5 & 6: Planning Kamishibai

Lesson 7: Manga and Kamishibai

Lesson 8: Create Kamishibai

Lesson 9: Perform Kamishibai

Lesson 10: Write Kamishibai Text

Additional Resources