Samurai: Design Your Own Symbol
The imagery on a samurai’s armor expresses that samurai’s identity and source of inspiration or empowerment. Is there an image you connect with most?
Objective: Students will summarize and illustrate the main events of a folktale from Japan in the format of kamishibai slides and retell their stories using their kamishibai slides.
Materials: Artwork (see “Related Resources” below): Suit of Armor; Video (see “Related Resources” below): Winning Without Hands; Other: Thick construction paper or card stock for kamishibai cards (6-8 per story); Drawing materials (paints, pencils, crayons); Scratch paper and paper for text strips; Envelope or metal rings to secure cards; Optional: tape or glue
Japanese Paper Theater (Kamishibai)
In Japan, the tradition of storytelling with art dates back as early as the 9th century when Japanese Buddhist monks would use storytelling scrolls to teach religious stories and lessons to an illiterate public. During the Edo period of peace, and onto the Meiji period, picture storytelling shifted from religious to secular stories as a means of entertainment.
During the early 20th century, picture storytelling, then known as kamishibai became a way to escape from the hardships of war and economic depression. A kamishibai storyteller would typically ride on a bicycle from town to town and tell stories using picture cards in a small theater on his bicycle. It became especially popular during the 1920s because of the growth of the silent film industry, which was actually narrated in Japan, and took on the characteristics of silent film dialogue and stage set aesthetics.
Kamishibai became so popular that television was first called “electric kamishibai.” As kamishibai became less popular, these artist adapted their skills to the popular manga and anime to tell stories.
Procedure to create a Kamishibai