This study describes how Japanese kindergarten teachers in the late 1960s gave priority to reading picture books story to children in comparison with storytelling or kamishibai. Picture books were first published in post-war Japan and they rapidly spread amongst kindergartens. This study demonstrates following two points;
1)Although the introduction of picture books to kindergartens brought a decline in traditional storytelling,it made up for this by contributing a new style called yomikikase(reading picture books to children)to the culture of storytelling.
2) Kamishibai, which had been common in the pre-war period, did not decline even though picture books became popular. This is because kamishibai taught about daily life and seasonal rhythms,while picture books related amusing stories.
In conclusion,kindergarten teachers regarded story picture books as a useful type of new sophisticated media,an attitude which contributed to taking root among language activities.
The study examines how local activities contribute to the preservation of traditional performing arts as an intangible cultural heritage by analyzing components of heritages and setting up preservation frameworks. As a case study, the Japanese traditional puppet show, “Ningyo-Joruri,” of the Shimoina region in Nagano prefecture is examined. Ningyo-Joruri is a composite performing art consisting of musical performance of traditional instruments (shamisen), narration by narrators (tayu) and performance of puppets (ningyo) in traditional sets. The study clarified that necessary elements for preservation include finding and maintaining successors (performers), gathering galleries of public performances, teaching traditional skill and technique, arranging or managing essential tools and sets, maintaining or reconstructing stages for performances and practices. In this case study, these elements have been appropriately preserved while the preservation method has radically changed since the early-modern age.