Invitation to a Kamishibai

Kamishibai, made from the two Japanese words for “paper” and “drama”, is a form of Japanese storytelling, originally from the Japanese Buddhist temples of the 12th century. Usually a storyteller sits behind or to the side of a small, free standing stage, while pictures on the stage are used to tell a story. Each picture has writing on the back, to be read out over each subsequent picture.

Picture of Maki Saji performing her kamishibai
Maki Saji performing her kamishibai

We would therefore like to invite you to a series of Kamishibai events taking place in Southampton and Cardiff in September, presented by Maki Saji, a 24yr old nun from the Myozoji Buddhist Temple at Izu Peninsula in Japan.

There are 4 dates as follows:

19/09/11 University of Southampton 5:30pm
21/09/11 Wales Millennium Centre 12:30pm
22/09/11 Caerleon Town Hall 7:30pm
24/09/11 Canton Uniting Church, Cardiff 7:30pm

The tickets are free of charge, but please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Enquiries should be made to:

Suiohkai at or
Telephone 029 2069 1803.

The event poster can be viewed or downloaded HERE.

Tower of a Thousand Cranes

Statue of Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima
Statue of Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima

The story being told is called “Tower of a Thousand Cranes” and recounts the tale of Sadako Sasaki who, at the age of two, was one of the many children whose world was pulled apart by the atomic bomb raid on Hiroshima in 1945. Though she had been left uninjured by the explosion, she died of leukaemia 10 years later. In 1953, when she was hospitalised, she started making 1000 origami paper cranes, praying that her wish would be granted for good health and a full recovery. She died however, two years later at the age of 12.

The Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima, also known as the Tower of a Thousand Cranes, was unveiled in the Peace Memorial Park in 1958 as a memorial to Sadako Sasaki, and stands today as a silent symbol for peace and harmony. The monument houses a 9m bronze statue of Sadako holding a golden crane over her head. The monument gathers over ten million cranes each year, and innumerable colourful cranes adorning the walls have now become a symbol for peace all across the globe.

To enable more people to know about Sadako, Maki Saji created a kamishibai based on the story and the 1000 origami cranes, and she has presented it around the world.

Her message is simple: to highlight the misery and futility of war, and the importance of life itself.

This entry was posted in Japanese Event and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Invitation to a Kamishibai