Paper theater 紙芝居

Although it is now an uncommon form of entertainment, the kami shibai 紙芝居, or paper theater, was a popular and widely accessible form of street-side entertainment. Basically, a set of drawings are inserted into a wooden frame. The drawings depicting the story are successively removed one by one, while the narrator orates the action and gives life to the characters. Similar to reading a picture book. In its heyday it unarguably presented a great visual dynamic that radio could not provide.

kami shibai showamura