A traditional Japanese Storytelling art Kamishibai   

Kamishibai means paper play in Japanese and is a traditional storytelling art that was popular during the 1930s and post-war period in Japan but is still performed today. The Kamishibai storyteller, which is called gaito Kamishibaiya, would travel to street corners, park their bicycle, and bang together clapping sticks called hyoshigi with sets of illustrated boards that they placed in a miniature stage called a butai.

I love the showa era of Japan so much that I wrote a song called Showa Shoujo and have always been inspired by that era and Kamishibai. So when thinking about a way to tell my story at my concerts for my first ever book WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS? I felt telling it with a wooden theatre would be the best way but where can you get a butai? They just don’t sell them anywhere in the US. Well I am very honored to know a very talented Japanese children’s author Sunny Seki along with his wife and partner Judy Seki that just so happened to have a theatre.

Sunny and Judy Seki originally had a photography studio in Rosemead, California where Seki received several awards for his photography. Sunny Seki is a staple at Japanese festivals because he is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books inspired by Japanese folk tales. He also does shadow puppetry and Japanese senryu poetry. As a new author it really means so much to me to get all the advice and help I have been receiving from them! Thank you so much! 


I’m very happy to announce that the first place I will be telling my story the Kamishibai way will be at Taste of Japan located at the Anaheim Gardenwalk this weekend! I will have two concerts. One on Friday June 16th at 6:00 – 7:00 pm where Ryujin Taiko will join me for a song and Saturday at 7:15 – 8:00 pm. I will also be MCing and having a book signing at my own kiosk where my book will be available for the entire festival.


Find out all the information about my first ever book WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS and new song here: http://stephanieyanez.com/whatareyourdreams

Writer: Stephanie Yanez
Instagram @stephachu
Website https://direct.me/stephachu