Here at the Manga Museum, we have regular performances of "Kamishibai," a traditional Japanese style of story-telling with pictures, which used to be popular as street entertainment. Everyone from children to the elderly can enjoy performances by the Museum's Kamishibai group, known as Yassan Ichiza.
Yassan Ichiza’s traditional but freshMM Kamishibai
*We will restart the performance with the measures to prevent infection and spread of the virus.
- One performance lasts about 30 minutes.
- We have sometime between performances, you can watch an apprentice Kamishibai artist test his or her skills.
- As there may be changes or cancellations, please confirm the performance time beforehand.
>>You can find out about the schedule here
2nd floor, Kamishibai room (Gallery 5)
Program of Kamishibai Performances
- Golden Bat
- Four Panel Kamishibai
- Kamishibai Without Words
- MM Original Kamishibai
Profiles of the Members of “Yassan Ichiza”, our Kamishibai Group
- Danmaru He grew up watching Yassan perform Kamishibai. Danmaru draws pictures with a free heart, and has a special dream. That dream is to build a log house or tree house in the mountains and construct a "Country of Dreams" for children. That's how he chose this path, the path of a Kamishibai artist. Alright, it's time for a Kamishibai performance by Danmaru! C'mon!
- Rakkyomu In 2004, while active as a Kamishibai artist, he entered an agricultural training program in Mie Prefecture. In the fields and paddies there, he came to understand the formless yet tangible power of "life." He wanted to convey that through words, and realized that Kamishibai could enable him to do that. In 2005, he met Yassan and became his apprentice. He debuted in early January of 2006. From then on, Rakkyomu, along with Chaka Maru, has been in charge of commissioned performances from Kawanishi City in Hyogo Prefecture and Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture. Since May 2007, while performing periodically at our museum, he has been doing farmwork. He wants to perform Kamishibai that focus on agriculture.
- Chaka Maru AKA Yasuno Yumi Chaka Maru grew up watching Yassan perform Kamishibai, and she performed Kamishibai herself for the first time when she was in high school. In college, she received an award for her thesis on "street-corner Kamishibai." She is also a licensed kindergarten teacher. Her specialty is performances for children focusing on nutrition and eating right. Her nickname "Chaka Maru" comes from the fact that she doesn't stop talking once she starts (it is based on the longer Japanese nickname "Chakapoko Musume"). She is also in charge of commissioned performances from Boards of Education in surrounding areas, such as Kawanishi City in Hyogo Prefecture, Nose in Osaka, and Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture.
- IKKYU A girl who was sitting in front of a bicycle as an audience at this museum is now standing by a bicycle as a Kamishibai performer of the museum from the summer of 2016. She believes that Kamishibai can make people smile and connect people as a language that can be understood by anyone. She became a Kamishibai performer in the Yassan Ichiza’s spirit of “making the world peaceful through Kamishibai.” Japanese language is mostly spoken, and English and Japanese sign languages can be heard and seen as well during her performance. She pursues her dream to connect the smiles of people and to build a bridge of the world through Kamishibai!
>>Performance schedule is here
The origins of Manga…
Manga has garnered much attention from teachers and others in fields related to children's education and culture, because it is a powerful tool for communication, and a medium of expression that is easily accessible to children. Especially interesting is the relationship between Kamishibai and popular culture, as it enjoyed widespread popularity in Japan from the 1930s to the 1950s. When Kamishibai was at its peak, around 1950, there were said to be about 3000 Kamishibai performers in Tokyo, and 50,000 in all of Japan. What's more, a number of now famous manga artists, such as Kojima Goseki, Shirato Sanpei, and Mizuki Shigeru, got their start in Kamishibai during this period. Thus, although the spread of television in the late 1950s and early 1960s led to a decline in Kamishibai's popularity, its stories and characters, and even some of its methods of expression, lived on in the form of manga. There are actually two types of Kamishibai: "street-corner" and "educational." The latter includes Kamishibai used for education during World War II, which continued after the war to play an important role in children's education and edification. Through both of these styles, Kamishibai has considerable influence on children; many people are now considering its potential uses in education.