Category: Unknown Nichigo

Little Girl’s Story Opens Door to Aussie Animal Boom in Japan

Scenes from Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow

Back in the early ’80s Australia did not command a great deal of attention in Japan (to be honest, it still doesn’t command that great a presence to this day…)

Things changed, however, with the launch of Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow.
Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow was an anime by Nippon Animation that aired weekly from January 10 to December 26, 1982.

The cartoon told the story of Lucy-May Popple and her family, who had emigrated from Yorkshire to live in Adelaide, Australia. The story was based on a book called Southern Rainbow by Australian author Phyllis Piddington. The anime would be translated into numerous languages and aired in many countries outside of Japan.

The DVD cover

The cartoon introduced Japanese audiences to all sorts of Australian animals that were then largely unknown. Among the Australian creatures featured on the show were kangaroos, platypuses, wombats, kookaburras and koalas. There were no koalas in Japan when the cartoon aired, but the marsupials would sweep the country of its feet with their cuteness when the first koalas arrived at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya two years later.

Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow was part of the World Masterpiece Theater, a yearlong series that featured an anime adaptation of a famous book. Among those who worked on the series were Hayao Miyazaki, who had already left Nippon Animation before Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow aired. World Masterpiece Theater aired from 1969 to 1997, then resumed after a 10-year hiatus and continues to air now.

Surgical Mask Vending Machine

Japan is a land of vending machines. You can find vending machines on just about any street corner in cities. They mainly sell beverages, but the ubiquitous machines also sell a vast array of other items, including gifts, toys, fresh eggs, rice, birth control, cigarettes, beer, costumes and even surgical masks, as shown here.

Arse Wind?

Walking along Route 246, I was surprised to look up and see the katakana script reading アースウィンド!
アースis, in English, arse…or, so I thought. Arse wind, then, could only mean one thing….surely a company couldn’t have named itself after a fart?
Of course it didn’t. In fact, アース is also the reading for earth. That makes Earth Wind a little easier to comprehend, even if the English is still a little awkward.

An Australian Christmas

Australians have a special way of spreading Christmas cheer
Ploughing snow is a big no-no, we have sun over here
Roos R-L
Christmas pud is a pav instead, while lunch is on the beach
Cold ham replaces turkey, And we have three servings each

Kangaroos help Santa out, ‘Cause reindeer just won’t do
For they don’t know the bush so well, roos just bound on through

Forget the fur lined boots this year, thongs are what we need
Rudolf will have to sit it out, while Skippy takes the lead

But don’t you worry, have no fear, Santa’s used to us down here!

NSFW (or kids) Classic Australian Christmas Song

A Little-Known, Bizarre Australia-Japan Christmas Story

豪のクリスマス・ソング:Deck the Shed
豪のクリスマス・ソング:Christmas on the Station
豪のクリスマス・ソング:Christmas Photo
豪のクリスマス・ソング:Aussie Jingle Bells
豪のクリスマス・ソング:Six White Boomers

South African band Die Antwoord also does an interesting cover of Kevin Bloody Wilson‘s Australian Christmas classic.


Tie Me Kangaroo Down SportPeanuts Tie Me Kangaroo Down SPort50代以下オーストラリア人及びイギリス人であれば、間違いなくロルフ・ハリスという芸能人の存在が分かるはずだ。1950年代後半以降同人物が子供を中心にイギリス在住でありながら出身国であるオーストラリアのことを全身全霊でPRし続けた。イギリス・オーストラリアを中心にものすごく愛され、両国のほとんどの人にとって「大好きなおじさん」のような存在だった。しかし、明るい表向きの顔の裏面は暗く虐待的な性格を隠したようだ。今週、小児虐待罪として5年9か月の実刑判決が下れた。虐待疑惑が浮上した2012年末頃からほぼ誰でも信じられなかったが、徐々にハリス受刑者の行動パターンが明確となり、約30年間に渡り自分の実娘のベスト・フレンドをはじめ数多くの未成年女性を性的に虐待した事実が明らかとなって有罪判決に至った。考えRoo自身をはじめ、ハリス受刑者を愛した何百万の英・豪人がこの事実にショックと痛みで受けた。
今では、ハリス受刑者が日本で知られていないと言っても過言ではないと思う。でも、いつもそうじゃなかった。1960年代前半、ハリス受刑者の多数中の最も大きなヒット曲「Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport」が日本でもひそかなファンを集めた。それほどヒットしなかったがザ・ピーナツ及びダニー飯田によって原版のオーストラリア動物の言葉遊びの歌詞をもてない男の話をコミカルに替えてシングルとして発表された。