World Kamishibai Forum

The purpose of the World Kamishibai Forum is to inspire, instruct, and increase kamishibai activity by celebrating the diversity of performance styles and the numerous applications for kamishibai that are developing in different contexts and cultures around the world today. Our primary goals are. . .


  • To build awareness of kamishibai and its attributes in the general population in the US and elsewhere;
  • To encourage classroom teachers, librarians, and social service specialists to embrace kamishibai as an effective tool for teaching (particularly reading), healing, and strengthening community;
  • To inspire artists, writers, illustrators, and performers to adopt this interactive dramatic art form and use it in service of their communities.

World Kamishibai Forum – Founders

Donna Tamaki

Donna Tamaki is a co-founder of Kamishibai for Kids and a translator of numerous Kamishibai stories from Japanese into English. She has been active with kamishibai for more than 30 years.


Tara McGowan is an artist, kamishibai storyteller, and author of The Kamishibai Classroom and Performing Kamishibai: An Emerging New Literacy for a Global Audience. She has been active in literacy work and kamishibai for more than 20 years.

Walter Ritter

Walter Ritter is an actor, singer, narrator and, for the past 10 years, a very busy kamishibai storyteller. He is the Executive Director and co-founder of Write Out Loud.

World Kamishibai Forum – History

The World Kamishibai Forum was founded in 2019 by Tara McGowan, Donna Tamaki, and Walter Ritter to inspire, instruct, and increase kamishibai activity around the world with videos, webinars, meetings, workshops, and performances.  The World Kamishibai Forum founders were joined by Write Out Loud, a non-profit educational organization, already committed to kamishibai, to provide essential services and a home on the internet.

The three founders saw that an international forum dedicated to celebrating and encouraging kamishibai’s adaptations and diversifications wherever it rooted, would be essential to the successful worldwide expansion of the art form.  

WKF’s first planned programming was a meeting in San Diego, California in February, 2020. When Covid-19 scuttled that plan, an alternative nine-month season of videos and online webinars about kamishibai worldwide was conceived and presented by WKF.  

This ambitious program opened on September 19, 2020 and will close on May 29th, 2021.  It includes 20 videos and 9 webinars featuring 29 kamishibai artists from 10 countries on 5 continents reaching 288 registered participants from 41 countries. 

Plans for 2021-22 and beyond are now being planned.

Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership provided essential support for the start-up of the World Kamishibai Forum.