Kamishibai Videos

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All Ages
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Kamishibai is a form of Japanese street theater (kami = paper; shibai = theatre). A storyteller stands behind a little wooden theatre and reveals a series of illustrations as they narrate a story, doing all the characters’ voices and the many sound effects. Write Out Loud performs nine brilliantly told video kamishibai including international folk tales and two original Japanese American incarceration stories about young people forcibly removed from their home and incarcerated by the U.S. government.

The Shoemaker and the Elves by the Brothers Grimm (8 mins)

The Giant Turnip (5 mins 55 secs)

The Boy and the Jaguar (7 mins 43 secs)

The Empty Pot (7 mins 13 secs)

Party of the Demons (8 mins 36 secs)

The Little Crab (10 mins 13 secs)

The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings  (8 mins 24 secs)

The last two stories are original ones based on the Japanese American Incarceration during World War II, intended respectively for middle school and high school students and beyond.

Ayako’s Story (26 mins 24 secs)

Bruce’s Story (52 mins 14 secs)

As Ayako and Bruce make their way through the 3rd grade, their lives are turned inside out when their own country suddenly turns on them.  As the U.S. enters into WWII, two children find themselves face to face with questions of identity, loyalty, self-preservation.  

Enjoy also the kamishibai storytimes presented by Write Out Loud at 25 library locations.


This conversation is part of the program series The Rebellious Miss Breed: San Diego Public Library and the Japanese American Incarceration. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Visit calhum.org.


Need disability-related modifications or accommodations? Information and program content can be made available in alternative formats upon request by emailing JFRogers@sandiego.gov.