Monday, March 01, 2010

Kamishibai, Tokyo

One evening the hotel where I stayed in Tokyo organised a Kamishibai performance. It was performed by two university students. I was really impressed with the show and could draw parallels between Kamishibai and other traditional performing arts. Instead of Kabuki’s actors and Bunraku’s puppets Kamishibai has a series of pictures displayed on a small stage. The sound effects are reduced to percussion of wooden clappers. However, the role of narrator/actor is as important as in Kabuki and Bunraku. They reduced everything to basics, but did not compromise on good storytelling!

P. S. For stories on other Japanese performing arts see the following blog posts: Bunraku (, Kabuki (, Noh and Kyogen (

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