This year, World Kamishibai Day was on December 7 (Azar 16 in Iran).
Year 2021 was the second year in which the World Kamishibai Day was celebrated with a different atmosphere in comparison with the previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The long-term separation of children from schools and libraries as a result of this pandemic had created a lot of difficulties for teachers and librarians; however, with the gradual remission of the pandemic in the fall 2021 in most of the regions in Iran, promoters of “Read with Me” program were able to celebrate this day as in the previous years along with other Kamishibai lovers all around the world.
Librarians, teachers and promoters from many cities and villages in Iran performed Kamishibai for children on this day.
From 2018, The International Kamishibai Association of Japan has named the seventh day of the last month of the year the World Kamishibai Day.
On this day, it invites Kamishibai lovers in Japan and other countries to help promote the culture of storytelling and reading all over the world by performing Kamishibai.
The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature joined this association three years ago. More than 300 individuals and international organizations from more than 55 countries have joined this international association so far.
Cultural interaction and exchange and sharing of experiences are among the achievements of the cooperation between international organizations.
This year, a number of Kamishibai titles with their English translations were sent by The International Kamishibai Association of Japan to The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature so that the promoters in this institute become more acquainted with various subject areas and styles of Kamishibai.
Nowadays, many writers and illustrators all over the world design and produce Kamishibai, and more and more children in Japan and other countries enjoy this literary-visual genre.
The publication house of The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature has also published two Kamishibai titles in Persian language, “The Sparrow Who Had Wings” and “ Bah-Bah-Limoo and Kakoli”.
This year, The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature and “Read with Me” program published simple educational movie clips a few days prior to the World Kamishibai Day in order to make the promoters familiar with how to make Kamishibai display boxes and how to read them.
After watching these simple educational video clips, many teachers and librarians from various regions in the country made these boxes with the help of children and even created their own Kamishibais and got ready to celebrate the World Kamishibai Day.
Kamishibai lovers of various age groups from several provinces such as Kermanshah, Hormozgan, Tehran, Khuzestan, Esfahan and Kerman sent us films and reports on their activities on this day and shared their happiness of “kyukan” with us remotely and indirectly.
In Japanese culture, “Kyukan” means shared feeling. The performer and the audience experience kyukan while delving into the world of the story.
The managers and members of the Kamishibai Association believe that the World Kamishibai Day provides a chance for us all to feel that we are all living together on the planet Earth and that we can think about peace while sharing Kamishibai.
See the activities of some of the promoters of “Read with Me” program on the World Kamishibai Day 2021 in Iran in this video clip: