Kamishibai Workshop – Youth Theatre Northwest


A Special  YTN Online Event - April 10th & 11th

YTN Kamishibai Community Workshop 2018

Two artists from Nagoya, Japan, who first came to YTN in 2018, return for a special online workshop your whole family can enjoy! Japanese “Kamishibai” (paper theatre) storyteller Tacchan and story-panel artist Teru-kun will guide you through a simple yet entertaining form of traditional street performance. This 90-minute workshop will include a short Kamishibai performance by Tacchan, a simple drawing exercise with Teru-kun (all skill levels encouraged to participate–you just need to be able to draw circles) followed by some time to create stories and share them at the end of the workshop.  

There are two workshops available: 

Saturday, April 10 from 3:00 to 4:30 (12 slots) 

Sunday, April 11 from 3:00 to 4:30 (12 slots)

For more information and details, contact Executive Artistic Director Mimi Katano.

What is Kamishibai?

Literal translation of the word, Kamishibai is "paper theatre.” It is a form of Japanese street theatre and storytelling that dates back to the 8th century, but was most popular among children during the Depression of the 1930s and the post-war period in Japan until TV came into play.

Kamishibai was told by a kamishibaiya or kamishibai narrator who travelled to street corners with sets of illustrated boards that he placed in a miniature stage-like device on the back of his bicycle and narrated the story by changing each image. Kamishibai is considered a dying art, but there still are handful of Kamishibaiya in Japan. Japanese Anime, now popular in the U.S. and other parts of the world originated in Kamishibai.  

About the Artists:

Tatsuo “Tacchan” Kawakami

Tacchan began his acting career in a local community theatre during his college years in Nagoga, Japan. After college, he joined a professional children’s theatre, Urinko and acted with them for 6 years. Tacchan then broke out on his own to do Kamishibai in 2007, founded his own troupe Marguerite Family, performing for over 100,000 people. He performs across Japan at roughly 150 locations including schools, hospitals, community library, temple, retirement homes, private party, parks, malls, and amusement parks. He makes appearances on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines and is the winner of Japan Street Kamishibai Competition in Numazu for two consecutive years. He is the only full time Kamishibai Storyteller left in Japan.

Takamitsu Terukina  

Teru is a producer, painter, and and illustrator from Nagoya, Japan. A graduate of Tama Art University specializing in traditional Japanese painting, he founded Marguerite Family with Tacchan and has produced and drawn over 500 kamishibai stories since 2007. Aside from is work with Marguerite Family, Teru’s work as a professional illustrator includes Toyota, Subway Japan, and Panasonic. His side business is to create personalized kamishibai for wedding receptions. Teru is also a design instructor at NCA Nagoya Communication Art Institute, and works with preschools to do creative art and supports teachers in their training through his illustration.  

2017-2018 Kamishibai Project Conservatory