Kamishibai is a powerful, non-digital medium of communication that was invented in Japan. It combines aspects of Japanese theatrical and storytelling traditions with early cinematic media techniques from abroad. The first kamishibai was invented in the early 19th century and involved paper puppets, known astachi-e, that could be flipped suddenly to look like they had moved.  The animation of tachi-e puppets was inspired by early cinematic techniques of magic lanterns, which used a light source to project images of still or moveable glass slides onto a wall or screen. Magic lantern shows became popular around the globe and were precursors of reel-to-reel film. (For more information on Japanese magic lantern shows, or utushi-e, see Downloads and Links in the introduction.)


Lesson plans & Resources


Source: Tara McGowan, storyteller and literacy scholar