It seemed a long time since I trialled my First Kamishibai - Jack and the Beanstalk, in Japanese - on a crowd of unsuspecting four and five year olds in a Tokyo nursery. So, preparing to tell it again, this time to an assembled group of language school students...
But, buoyed by my (slightly) improved Japanese, and having practiced my newly-corrected text to death, I went for it anyway.
First, I did my best to explain why I wasn't doing a 'tell me about your country' role play like everyone else...
...and then Jack took over, and I was ok
I didn't look anything like a traditional Kamishibai artist, complete with a hand-made and decorated paper theatre
...I had interpreted the rules in my (very bossy) Kamishibai Q&A instruction manual, extremely loosely at best
People laughed and clapped politely
and I thought it best not to ask whether it was my attempt at Japanese 'storyteller pronunciation', the actual jokes, or just my arsenal of funny faces (thank you, Clown School) that tickled them.
When I finished, I had no idea whether to be mortified or delighted. Then a couple of people from the Beginner class came up to me afterwards and told me that they had fun, were able to follow my Japanese text, AND actually learned some new Japanese words. I decided to choose 'delighted'.
A Good Kamishibai Day. Time to start work on a new one.