Etsuko Nozaka

Speaking Time and Room No.: 2006-9-22 14:00-15:30 Room II

Speaker: Etsuko Nozaka (Japan)

Theme: 3. Children’s Literature and the Ideal World

The World of Kamishibai

It is said that Kamishibai was born in Japan about seventy-five years ago. It has been developed especially since 1950’s as published works created by authors. Kamishibai has established itself as a children’s culture and now started to spread throughout the world. The splendor of Kamishibai is the pleasure of “kyokan”(the sharing of feelings). The performer and the audience share their feelings through the world of the story. This fascination is born from the special “format” and the “key feature” of Kamishibai, which you will see in our actual presentation.

Actual performance of Kamishibai titled “Grow grow grow bigger!”. See the attached text.?

Kamishibai is something which proceeds when the performer slides each drawing out from “butai”(stage or mini-theater) and then slides it back in. Since the text is written on the back of the drawings, Kamishibai always needs a performer and the performer faces the audience to convey the content of the work. When the performer starts to slide the drawing out, the world of the story emerges real, and extends into the real world. And the performer and the audience feel “kyokan” for the world of the story through communication. At the same time, there occurs humane exchange of feelings.

In the period of the 20th century, it was picture books which cultivated children’s sense of “ko”(individuality). In the 21st century, the culture which cultivates children’s sense of “kyokan” (fellowship through the shared feelings) is required. Both of these senses are essential in order to live real life. Excellent works of Kamishibai contain, deep within themselves, essence and splendors of life. The creators of such works pursue Kamishibai as a culture that praises life.

Kamishibai creates “the pleasure of living together”, and this is the way toward the peace.

Never start again a war of aggression. We hope that Kamishibai would take root in the world

as something brightening children’s future and peace.

Etsuko Nozaka

The International Kamishibai Association of Japan (IKAJA)


Allocated time: content above (about 5 min.) + performance of Kamishibai (about 7 min.)

= total of approx. 12 min.