Do you know 「ドラえもん」 (“Doraemon“)?
He’s the namesake of a great long-running Japanese anime / manga created by the late artist Fujiko F. Fujio.
In this story, an elementary school age boy named Nobi Nobita is lazy and always tries to get out of work and study.
One day, a blue robot cat with no ears appears in his room (through his dresser drawer) and tells Nobita that he’s there to help him not ruin his future.
The robot cat’s name is Doraemon. He got his name because of his love for the Japanese bean-filled snack どら焼き (“dorayaki“).
Doraemon enjoying dorayaki
Doraemon tells Nobita that he was sent from 22nd century by Nobita’s great-great-great grandson because the family is struggling with many financial hardships that are all due to Nobita’s laziness.
Nobita asks who his future wife will be, expecting the answer to be his cute neighbor Shizuka whom he has a crush on…but is shocked when Doraemon tells him he will marry the neighbor bully’s chubby younger sister Jaiko.
Doraemon also explains that he used to be a yellow robot cat with ears (just like his sister Dorami)…but a rat chewed his ears off and Doraemon cried about it.
His tears washed his yellow paint off.
That’s why he’s blue and has no ears…and it’s also why he has a paralyzing fear of rats.
Doraemon was yellow and had ears...until a mouse bit them off.
In the story’s adventures, Nobita always has a problem which is often the result of his laziness, such as an upcoming exam at school that he didn’t study for, or the local bully Gian and his rich, spoiled sidekick Suneo beating him up.
After which, Doraemon always gives Nobita some sound advice that would help him…but Nobita always wants a quick, easy solution to his dilemma.
So Doraemon will reluctantly lend Nobita one of the countless gadgets from the future that he carries in the pouch on his stomach.
Doraemon’s most famous gadgets include the 「どこでもドア」 (“Go Anywhere Door”) which can magically transport the user to any chosen location, 「タケコプター」 (“Bamboo Helicopter”) which lets the wearer fly, and the “Small Light” that shrinks whatever the light shines on.
There’s always a moral to the story when Nobita learns that laziness and lying don’t pay.
Doraemon and friends (Gian, Shizuka, Nobita and Suneo)
In Japan, you can find Doraemon‘s likeness on all kinds of things such as toys, neckties, blankets, lunchboxes, dorayaki snacks, etc.
Even the guitar company ESP has a “Doraemon guitar” and “Doraemon guitar picks”.
ESP "Doraemon" guitar
ESP "Doraemon" guitar picks
In 2008, Doraemon was made the “Japanese Cartoon Ambassador” to promote Japanese anime and manga around the world.
Doraemon (with Nobi Nobita) becoming Japan's Cartoon Ambassador in a ceremony with Japan's Foreign Minister in 2008.
Anyways, on 2011 September 3 the “Fujiko F. Fujio Museum” will open in 川崎 (Kawasaki, Japan) south of Tokyo.
This museum will feature the artwork by this artist who created “Doraemon” and another staple of Japanese pop-culture: 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“).
「オバケのQ太郎」 ("Q-Taro the Ghost")
Have you ever watched a “Doraemon” anime or read the manga? How about 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“)?