Tuesday, June 20, 2006

9th Meeting: Using Kamishibai (Story Cards) in the Classroom

The ETJ Miyazaki Regional Group conducted its 9th meeting with the topic: “Using Kamishibai (story cards) in the Classroom” held last June 11, 2005 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Kyoiko Johu Kenshu Center, Miyazaki Board of Education, Miyazaki City. A total of 17 ETJ members participated in the said activity.

Ms Erika Heijima introduced the concept of using Kamishibai, a traditional Japanese story telling using picture cards. She initially discussed the differences between the kamishibai and the classic story books everyone is familiar with. Her discussion delved on the advantages of using kamishibai over that of a story books. The criteria for choosing and translating a kamishibai, as well the various tips on how to get started were substantially discussed.

Since Kamishibai is a traditional Japanese material its accompanying text is also written in Japanese. Translating the whole (Japanese) text to English language is not advisable; rather she encouraged interpreting the pictures itself into a story, choosing a language that is suitable to the age group of the students.

To better expound the topic, Ms Heijima showed various examples of story cards that can be bought in most bookstores; likewise, she perkily demonstrated an actual kamishibai-story- telling that certainly captured the attention of the audience.

As part of the workshop, ETJ members were grouped into five(5); each group was given a Kamishibai to work with by translating the picture cards into a story. To highlight the meeting, each was asked to present their output to the whole group by telling a story using a Kamishibai.(Presenters from each group, from top to bottom, Ms. Tabitha Ferry, Kenyatta Carter, Bradley Yaxley, Sayed Mohamed with Miyuki Kawasoe and Shirley Takarabe)


Our sincerest thanks and appreciation to Ms Erika Heijima for generously sharing her time and expertise. We have gained new teaching insights and we certainly enjoyed the presentation. Ms Heijima is truly a brilliant story teller!


Erika Hiejima is from Australia. She has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Teaching and has been teaching young children abroad for 17 years. She has worked at Miyazaki English Kindergarten for the last 7 years. She has extensive knowledge especially in the usage of Kamishibai (story cards).

@Marley Tallada