I went to the local elementary school for storytelling for kids after a long time. I was wondering about choosing a book for third graders and looked around my bookshelf, then found the perfect book. It was one of a series of folk tales of Shiga named "Chikubu Island under the full moon". The length of the story was less than ten minutes which was perfect.
After entering the classroom and doing morning greetings, I asked the kids which prefecture you are in now. They responded it was Shiga prefecture. "What is the name of the lake in Shiga? " "Biwako! " "Why do people say Biwako?" "...........". Then I started talking about Biwa which is a string instrument and the name of the lake came from it because of the shape of the lake just like Biwa. I introduced Benten, who is the goddess of arts and wisdom, holding Biwa and playing it. She is living in Chikubushima (Chikubu island in the lake). After telling these simple introductions, I started telling the story of the picture book. When I turned the page on which a big black fish was drawn, some kid said " Ah! That is catfish!". I was glad to know that kids were interested in my reading and concentrated on looking into the picture book.
It seems most of the kids haven't visited Chikubu-shima yet. I am glad that I could introduce Biwa, goddess Benten and Chikubu-shima.