Kamishibai in Miyajimaguchi

It was the weekend, so a festival of some sort was taking place in Miyajimaguchi, where I got off the train to catch the ferry to Miyajima. There was a parade by a large group of traditional musicians, playing music using drums and other instruments, people in costume and booth selling traditional products.

While I enjoyed all these, my favorite had to be the kamishibai performance that I was so lucky to witness! Kamishibai is a form of traditional storytelling popular back during the Depression era in the 1930’s and post-war Japan before the mass usage of television.

It was told by a storyteller using an emakimono (picture scrolls or story board). The storyteller sometimes dressed up for the occasion, like this storyteller-san I saw. Kamishibai is predominantly popular among children, but is an important intangible heritage of Japan.

There are regular kamishibai performances staged in the Kyoto Manga Museum so maybe I should head there next!


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