“Anpanman” is one of the most popular Japanese cartoon series loved by young children.
It was created by Yanase Takashi, a Japanese writer, poet, illustrator and lyricist.
Takashi Yanase was born in 1919, and died of liver cancer in 2013. He was 94.
During the Second World War, he was drafted into the Imperial Army and went to China as a soldier.
There, he had no food for many days due to strict food rationing.
One night, he dreamed of eating an “Anpan”, a popular Japanese bread filled with sweet red bean paste.
This experience inspired him to create Anpanman later.
Anpanman’s head is baked by Uncle Jam, a baker.
His weak points are water, and anything else that makes his head dirty.
He has two special tricks: An-punch and An-kick.
When Anpanman meets the hungry, he gives his head to them.
He is a weak but kind hero.
Yanase Takashi has written about justice in his book “Anpanman’s will”.
Here is his message:
“There is nothing like a fight for justice.
Justice is something suddenly reversed one day.
A true hero is not somebody who beats a bad guy.
A true hero can sacrifice oneself to help somebody in need.
The only justice that is never reversed is dedication or love;
It is an act of giving a piece of bread to somebody in front of you
who is starving to death.”
a) フィリピン b) 中国 c) サイパン