Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tengu Tale for Kamishibai

 I've collection of original stories illustrated for my kamishibai. Some are painted and others are paper cut-outs. However I've no Japanese folk tales. Being on the stubborn side, I refuse to purchase pre-made stories, preferring to make the artwork myself or trade with another kamishibai enthusiast. There are some lovely kits available and informative websites. Kamishibai for Kids is one of my favourites.

During the year I was asked several times to tell a Japanese folk tale but until now I haven't had the time to create the cards and I haven't felt drawn to a story to illustrate until ...  storytelling friend Susan lent me Japanese Children's Favourite Stories edited by Florence Sakade (illustrated Yoshisuke Kurosaki). Inside is terrific story called 'The Long-nosed Goblins'; they are of course, Tengu. As with anything to do with folk literature, explanations are never simple. There are many threads to unravel about the history of Tengu but in children's stories Tengu are often humorous and easily tricked by humans. They're usually depicted with magic fans (hauchiwa) and wearing one-toothed geta (sandals). I've begun sketching the illustrations and plan to paint them in acrylic.

If you're interested in swapping stories:  Kamishibai Library of  Swaps was set up by my UK friend Derek Carpenter

Also ... if you would like to read some folk tales from Japan, I stumbled across Yanagita Kunio Japanese Folk Tales (translated by Fanny Hagin Mayer). You can read online.

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