Kamishibai (paper theatre) storytelling originated in Japan and was very popular between the 1920s – 50s. The storytellers attached small stages to their bicycles and delivered their tales in the open air.
Kamishibai as a form of visual storytelling, is connected to comic books and animation.
In recent times Kamishibai has ignited the imaginations of storytellers and artists around the world.
My kamishibai stages
I have two stages: one is beautifully hand-crafted from recycled eucalyptus by my friend Ted Smith, and the other, I made from paper mache and I can fix it to my bike for ‘stories on wheels’.
Kamishibai story - video
Here’s an example of a story recorded for World Storytelling Day 2015. It's called Split Dog.
What's special about Kamishibai stories?
Kamishibai stories are a lot of fun and create the potential to work with artists and musicians. They appeal to both children and adults. Kamishibai stories work magic in places where English is not the first language and with children and adults with audio processing challenges.
Here are two of my favourite books for learning about Kamishibai, plus a booklet I have made with instructions on how to make one.
You might also like to visit the Kamishibai Library of Swaps.
Booking a Kamishibai story
Kamishibai works best with small audiences (up to 80). The pictures are A3 size. However if there is a digital projector available and the images can be projected, then audience numbers are no problem.
The bike can be used inside and out. For outside telling, a place away from the wind and rain and on level ground is all that’s needed.
See my media page for high resolution photos.
Contact : Mobile 0412 210 098 or via