My family and I have a small Sunday-afternoon tradition1 we have followed for years. Around 3:45 in the afternoon, we gather in the living and watch a wonderful cartoon called Chibi Marukochan, which is now celebrating it’s 20th year.
Chibi Marukochan, to me, vaguely reminds me of the American cartoon Charlie Brown. It’s main character is a little girl named Maruko, but the setting is a nice, idyllic neighborhood where Maruko interacts with other kids (some nice, some naughty), and with adults. Chibi Marukochan also teachings Japanese kids a lot about traditions, culture, holidays, etc. Like Charlie Brown, it makes you appreciate family, tradition and so on. It’s a good, wholesome show to watch.
Since we subscribe to TV Japan in the US, the show is broadcasted at 3:45 Sunday and we watch it as a family. As a language student, I find Chibi Marukochan about the right level of difficulty for me. I understand enough to enjoy the show, but I still learn a lot about how people really talk and communicate in Japanese, plus I learn useful little bits of culture.
Also, I have a few Chibi Marukochan books, which are easier for me to read, but still very useful. My favorite one (posted here), is a book on the Hyakunin Isshu poetry and anthology, while I also own a useful book on Keigo as well. I read the Hyakunin Isshu book from time to time, to help with the other blog, but also because I just really enjoy Heian Period culture, plus I love the poems.2
Anyhow, I found some clips from the show I wanted to share. This first one is a much older clip (I think it’s the very first episode), where Chibi Marukochan is introducing herself.
The second is a kind of mash-up of different clips, but I thought it was a good representation of Chibi Marukochan.
In general, I don’t watch a lot of Japanese kids TV shows, but Chibi Marukochan is something I can enjoy with my wife and daughter, plus I learn a lot too.
So, here’s to a great show and its 20th anniversary!
1 I also do a silly dance in front of the TV during the theme song. My wife and daughter can’t stand it, but I think it’s funny. I don’t know why I do it, but I just want to be silly. ;p
2 It’s also fun when I meet Japanese people who are fans of the Hyakunin Isshu as well. When you meet someone from another culture who shares the same hobbies, it’s a really nice connection. 🙂