Kamishibai: Japanese Storytelling

Grades: 1-2
Tour length:
1.5 hours
900 S. Beretania Street
Tuesday – Friday
9 + 10:30am
Group Size:
60 maximum
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​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​


Students love to hear the Kamishibai or “paper drama” stories told from a small stage on the back of a bicycle in our Chinese courtyard. This form of storytelling dates back to 12th century Japan, when monks cycled from town to town, attracted an audience by selling candy, then taught valuable lessons through the stories. Students will also experience a Japanese tea ceremony, explore Buddhist sculpture and create a simple woodblock print in the galleries.

Pictured above: Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Kabuki Actors as Fisherman, Lady Murasaki, Student Geisha and Lady at Festival. Japanese, Edo period, c. 1843 – 1847. Woodblock print (Nishiki-e); ink and color on paper. Purchase, 1927 (05091).


Continue your museum experience back at school! Borrow artifacts related to your tour from the Lending Collection to use in the classroom. The Lending Collection is a free resource for island educators. Pre-packaged object trunks available for some tours, or hand pick objects from the collection for any tour. Contact Dawn Sueoka at dsueoka@honolulumuseum.org.

Connecting to Standards

General Learner Outcomes

GLO #1: Self-directed Learner (The ability to be responsible for one's own learning)
GLO #2: Community Contributor (The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together)
GLO #3: Complex Thinker (The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving)
GLO #5: Effective Communicator (The ability to communicate effectively)

Common Core ELA Standards

K-12.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words

Literacy.RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

Literacy.RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

Fine Arts

FA.1.1.1 Use various types of art media
FA.1.1.6 Compare artwork from various cultures that have similar themes and subject matter
FA.1.3.5 Analyze the dramatic elements of culture that exist in stories, songs, fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes
FA.2.1.4 Investigate how art is used in celebrations, festivals, and customs of selected cultures from the past and present
FA.2.3.4 Assess how various styles of theatrical production relate to culture

Social Studies

SS.1.3.1 Compare own life with those of children in history.
SS.1.6.1 Describe ways in which own and other cultures express cultural beliefs and practices through stories and/or legends
SS.2.6.1 Describe ways in which own and other cultures express their cultural beliefs and practices through music and art

Return to guided school tours.