Kamishibai: Japanese Storytelling

Grades: 1-2
Tour length:
1.5 hours
900 S. Beretania Street
Tuesday – Friday
9 + 10:30am
Group Size:
60 maximum
Request this tour

​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 Rusti Cripps, rcripps@honolulumuseum.org

Hawaiʻi Department of Education Benchmarks

Fine Arts
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.2.3.4 Assess how various styles of theatrical production relate to culture
FA.2.1.4 Investigate how art is used in celebrations, festivals, and customs of selected cultures from the past and present

Social Studies
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

Language Arts
LA.1.6.2 Use appropriate social conventions (e.g., waiting one's turn, raising a hand, apologizing) in various large and small group situations
LA.1.6.5 Use basic listening skills to focus attention on speaker and respond to a message
LA.1.6.1 Express ideas through drama activities (e.g., sharing, role playing, puppetry, mime, choral reading)
LA.2.6.3 Express ideas through drama activities (e.g., role playing, skits, puppetry, choral reading, story telling)
LA.2.6.4 Use appropriate social conventions in various large and small group situations

Return to guided school tours.