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!
 びっくり仰天だった!
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

christmas-kangaroo
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.