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Kamishibai Workshop and Performance

Storytelling with Illustrated Story Boards
March 21, 2020

As a precaution to slow the spread of COVD-19, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

実演セッションについて – About the Performance


In this 20 minute session prior to the workshop, the instructor will perform kamishibai stories in Japanese. All ages welcome. No bookings required.

ワークショップについて – About the Workshop

紙芝居口演を日本語で行いたい方を対象に、Australia Kamishibai Association 会員である渡辺鉄太氏を講師に迎えて行います。特に日本語を継承語として学ぶお子さんをお持ちの親御様、日本語プレイグループに参加されている方、日本語教師の方に得るところが多いワークショップです。



Led by Tetsuta Watanabe, a member of the Australian Kamishibai Association, this workshop is for people who are interested in performing kamishibai in Japanese to children. Parents of children with a Japanese background, Japanese play-group organisers and Japanese language teachers will benefit from the content of the workshop.

You will first acquire a concise knowledge of the history and varieties of kamishibai, followed by instruction of basic performance skills utilising kyōkan (the feeling toward the world of a kamishibai work shared by the performer and audience). Finally, every participant will choose a work from the library’s collection to perform in a small group.

Please note that this workshop will be presented in Japanese, run for about 90 minutes and is aimed at adults. We respectfully request that children attend only the preceding performance session. Thank you for your understanding.

紙芝居とは? – What is kamishibai?



Kamishibai (紙芝居) is a form of Japanese storytelling using a set of illustrated story boards with pictures printed on one face and the script on the reverse face. The term kamishibai is also used to refer to the set of story boards itself.

The early sets of kamishibai (circa 1930) were produced as a one-of-a-kind item. Original copies were leased to performers who usually recited them on street corners and earned money by selling confectionery to the audience. Soon after, kamishibai began to be used in early childhood and elementary school education to counter the content of street kamishibai titles, which were considered rather grotesque or too sentimental. These educational kamishibai titles were published and distributed to schools and public libraries. Newer media such as film, television and internet posed a challenge to kamishibai, but this simple live action performance has survived the test of time.

講師  渡辺鉄太氏プロフィール – About Tetsuta Watanabe

児童文学作家・翻訳家・メルボルンこども文庫主宰者であり、The Australian Kamishibai Association (AKA)と紙芝居文化の会 (IKAJA)に参加して紙芝居の口演を行う。

東京生まれ、1996年にオーストラリアへ家族で移住。近年の著作には『おほしさまの ちいさなおうち』渡辺鉄太作、加藤チャコ絵、瑞雲社, 2018 ; 『ぱくぱくはんぶん』渡辺鉄太作、南伸坊絵、福音館書店, 2018、また英語作品の日本語への翻訳として「としょかんねずみ」シリーズ、ダニエル・カーク作・絵、渡辺鉄太訳、瑞雲社, 2012- ; 『ウィンターのほん』キャメロン・ホワイト作、加藤チャコ絵、渡辺鉄太訳、サンドイッチプレス, 2015などがある。2000年から運営するメルボルンこども文庫では日本語を話す児童を対象に絵本よみきかせと紙芝居口演を行い、妻で絵本画家である加藤チャコは人形劇やアートワークショップを行っている。また文庫外でも積極的に活動しており、最近では Williamstown Writer’s Festival や Springvale Library などで紙芝居口演を行った。

Tetsuta Watanabe is a writer and translator of children’s books (English to Japanese), and founder of Melbourne Kodomo Bunko. He is also a performer of Kamishibai, and a member of The Australian Kamishibai Association (AKA) and The International Kamishibai Association of Japan (IKAJA).

Tetsuta Watanabe was born in Tokyo and moved to Australia in 1996 with his family. His recent books include The Little House with a Star Inside (illustrated by Chaco Kato, Zuiunsha, 2018), Grandma’s Cake (illustrated by Shinbo Minami, Fukuinkan, 2018). His recent English to Japanese translations include Daniel Kirk’s Library Mouse series (Zuiunsha Publishers, 2012-) and Winter’s Story by Cameron White (Sandwich Press, 2015). He has been running Melbourne Kodomo Bunko since 2000, where he reads stories to Japanese-speaking children and tells stories using kamishibai, while his wife Chaco performs puppet shows and offers various art workshops. Recently, he has performed kamishibai at a number of events and venues including Williamstown Writer’s Festival and Springvale Library.


March 22, 2020
1:30pm – 3:20pm

Kamishibai Storytelling in English

Books Kinokuniya Sydney


Please refer to cancellation notice.

March 21, 2020 (Saturday)



Free. No bookings required. Capacity limited.
Children aged 12 or younger must be accompanied at all times by an adult guardian.

Free. RSVPs essential.
This workshop is aimed at adults.

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opens on Eventbrite

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

(02) 8239 0055

Banner and portrait photos: Anthony Cheung

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