Welcome again to JJNN for Tuesday September 9th, 2008. Today we will be taking about a popular Japanese cartoon.
Take a look at the following clip.
That is the opening to a very famous anime in Japan. If you ask 100 people random on a street if they know the song or the anime more than 90 would probably say yes. The name of the anime is very simple: Sazae-san. The story of the anime is also very simple. It just follows the every day lives of the people in the Isono and Fuguta families.
So why is Sazae-san so well known? Well for one thing, simple is best. People love the simple stories of every day life that these other families go though. It is almost like becoming a part of the family, or even looking over your backyard fence at the family next door. The other reason Sazae-san is so well known is that it has been going for a long time now. It started as a comic strip (like the ones we see in newspapers) in 1946. The comic officially ended in 1974, but newspapers to this day still run reruns (is that the right word for a comic?) of the originals. The move from comic to anime happened in 1969. It is still running to this day, which means that Sazae-san is the longest running animated series ever. 39 years and still running strong. And you thought that the Simpsons was a long running series.
Well now you know what everyone knows about Sazae-san, but I didn't really say anything about the people in the show at all. The main character is Sazae Fuguta. Sazae and her husband, Masuo Fuguta, and child, Tarao Fuguta, live in the same house the with the rest of Sazae's extended family. The rest of the family is Sazae's father, Namihei Isono, mother, Fune, little brother, Katsuo, and little sister, Wakame. I know all those names are a mouth full, but they grow on you after a while because most of them are puns on different forms of sea life. You can see a picture of the extended family below.
From left to right it is Namihei(father), Katsuo(brother), Sazae, Tarao(son), Tama(cat), Masuo(husband), Wakame(sister), Fune(mother).
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 船(ふね). It is pronounced fune and means boat. This is just to point out one of the many naming puns in this series. Almost everyone is named after something that has to do with the sea. The mother is named Fune which means a boat. The sister is named wakeme which is a type of seaweed. The list goes on and on.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.