Japanese Storytelling with Magical Mask, Mime and Music

In Japanese, ori means “to fold” and gami means “paper”. Using origami, music and audience participation, Kuniko Yamamoto provides a magical introduction to Japanese culture and the art of simplicity. In “Origami Tales”, mythological character masks & puppets, amazing flowers and a dragon — all made from origami — set the stage, while Kuniko shares heartfelt stories from ancient Japan.

Man makes funny face with red ball in his mouth and purple rings around his neck during circus act

Live! for $5

Location: Stonington Opera House
Tickets: $5
Ages: All ages!

A native of Japan, Kuniko Yamamoto received her Bachelor of Psychology from Otani University of Kyoto, Japan in 1983, then started performing professionally in her hometown of Osaka where she grew up studying traditional dance, music and theater. In 1985, she received national exposure performing Japanese Storytelling at the Silk Road International Exposition and on Kansai National TV. The following year, Kuniko traveled to the United States to study with Tony Montanaro, a highly respected mime and actor. Three years later, she toured with Leland Faulkner Light Theater where she helped present lavish stage illusions and brought ancient tales to life with shadows and magic. For the next five years she performed in theaters, schools, colleges, and festivals across the country.

In 1992, Kuniko left the Faulkner Light Theater troupe to move to Florida. She married Jon LeClair, a world-renowned magician whose books appear in magic shops worldwide. This helped her add subtle magic and mystery to her unique act.

Kuniko has performed in numerous venues of note such as:

The Kennedy Center (Washington DC)
Disney Epcot Japanese Pavilion
Seattle’s International Festival
International Children’s Festival in Canada
National Storytelling Festival

Over the last two decades she has presented her programs throughout the United States. Her work is recognized by the Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina State Arts Council since 2000.

About Live! for $5

Live! for $5 is an annual series of live performances, available to all for a ticket price of only $5. The series features a wide variety of performances for intergenerational audiences and participants.

Live! for $5 performances are sponsored in part by the W.F. Whitman Family Foundation, in honor Maia Aprahamian.