Monday, August 27, 2012

Yanase Takashi & Anpan-Man Museum

   Anybody living in Japan is bound to run into Anpan-Man sooner or later. As his name would suggest, this superhero is made out of Anpan: bean-jam-filled bread.
   First appearing in a picture book in 1973, he was made into a television cartoon in 1988, and has been loved by all Japan for nearly 40 years. He is a kind, strong warrior for justice who flies through the sky, battles the evil bacteria Baikin Man, and gives pieces of his own delicious body to the hungry.

  Today you can see his face everywhere, including at nursery schools and Ryoma Airport. For example, the jingle at JR Kochi Station that tells you of incoming trains is the theme song from his cartoon.

   But did you know that his creator comes from Kochi? Yanase Takashi was born on February 6, 1919 in Kahoku Town (currently part of Kami City) in Kochi. He attended the Tokyo Polytechnic High School (currently Chiba University) to study design, and was drafted into the military during the war.When the war ended, he began working in the publicity department of Mitsukoshi department store, but quit in 1953 to work as a cartoonist.

   Today he continues to work in many different fields. He is the director of the Japanese Cartoonists’ Association, a director of the Japan Culture Center for Youths and Children and the honorary director of the Anpan-Man Museum. In addition to creating all the characters who appear in the Anpan-Man series, Mr.Yanase makes many other characters involved in children’s education. His many “children” include Jinken Mamoru-kun, who teaches children the importance of human rights, Jishin Man, who teaches people the danger of earthquakes, and Asagohan Man,who teaches kids how important it is to eat breakfast.

   Please take a moment to look around yourself. As long as you are in Kochi, I am sure that you will encounter Yanase Takashi in many different places.
   This museum exhibits paintings of Anpan-Man and other famous animated characters, etc.
   Open: 9:30am-5:00pm (Last entry: 4:30pm). Opens at 9:00am between July 20 and August 31.
   Closed: Tuesday (the following day if Tue is a public holiday). Open every day during the summer holidays and other long term holidays.
   Access: Get on a bus at JR Tosayamada Sta. and get off at Anpan-Man Museum Mae. About 25 min. About one hour by car from the center of Kochi City.
   Fee: Adults 700yen, JHS & SHS 500yen, ESS and 3 years old or more 300yen
   Inquiries: TEL0887-59-2300
   Website: (Japanese)

Taken from vol.30 PDF

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