What IS Kamishibai anyway?!

   Why yes Little Johnny I am glad you asked so nicely.  Many people ask that question and come away utterly confused about what this program is, what it does, and where it came from.  History first. 

Many people believe that Kamishibai was some magical fairy tale THING that appeared right after World War I.  They are told a very narrow history, when Kamishibai is actually much older.  Dating back to Buddhist monks in Japan.  It is Japanese but traces of some of it's workings even date back to China. If you click "here" You can find a history report I did for my technical writing class on the subject.  If you want to know a broader view of Kami history I would suggest starting there. 

What you'll be mainly dealing with though is the Online Kamishibai system. 

You can think of it as a kind of love child between tv, books, and powerpoint.  Quite an orgy right? 

We'll let's get our minds out of Kinkworld and back to the Kamishibai viewer.  There are several kinds (viewers) and they all basically do the same thing, but I'll explain all that elsewhere. 

Above you can see a picture from my Kamishibai "Legend of St. Silver" It gives you a pretty solid idea of how the average viewer works.  And now you can see what I mean by a combination of Art, music, story, and sound.  Well maybe not the music and sound part but they are there!  In the top wooden box you see where your art goes.  No matter if you draw it, render it, or do it all on the computer you can get it into the viewer.  That is also where you would put your animations for that scene if you make any, and that's a really fun option because you can add dynamics to a scene. Below that is where your story, narration, or dialogue for that scene goes.  Then in the picture you can see some of the options you can make.  You can have more than two which is neat if you want to have twist/multiple endings.

And that my friends is basically what the Kamishibai community and program is about. Storytelling of all creeds and disciplines. Telling stories on it can be really interesting and you should SEE some of the stuff people have come up with.  A-MAZING!  You can tell all kinds of stories, and I like that versatility and freedom. 

It's a medium where you can convert certain things into a media format. Without having to go and learn flash and make animations for EVERYTHING you do.  Don't get me wrong, Flash isn't bad if you're making a cartoon.  But if you simply want to tell a story Kamishibai is the program you should utilize.

It's good for fanfiction too.  I know a lot of people like to add pics to their stories whether it be fantasty, action, erotica, or comic fanfics. The list could go on and on.  The same goes for comics period.  It can be really simple to convert a comic into Kamishibai format.  And the Kamishibai viewers can also, and always have been, be used to create certain kinds of games.  You can find some examples of those on Otaku World.  Gaming Kamishibai's are a seldom trodden frontier however, maybe you can be the one to completely master it. ~_^

Well that's all!  If you have any questions just like...email me.  Okay, have fun viewing! 

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