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.

A Toast to Fine Electronics

 

Breville sandwich maker

日本は世界中に素晴らしい家電など電気製品で知られているが、オーストラリアもグローバル存在感が大きな電気製品会社があったのは知った?
 それはブレビル社という会社。
 1932年にメルボルン市で設立されたので歴史がそこそこあるが、家電を中心に展開した。
 日本ではブレビル商品に関してバリスタが使うコーヒーメーカーかジューサーが主な商品だけど世界中に発売されている。日本ではお馴染み薄いが、トースターについて英語圏の一部ではトーストサンドが「ブレビル」と呼ばれているぐらい浸透している。
 チャンスがあったら、オーストラリアのブレビルを使ってみてはいかがでしょうか?

カンガルーの玉袋が不足している!

カンガルーの玉袋おみやげ

 オーストラリアの定番おみやげとなっている「カンガルーの玉袋」が不足している。
 この数年、洪水、間伐その他の気候変動によって行っている現象がカンガルーの数に影響を与え、本体が少なくなってれば玉袋も当然稀となる。
 オーストラリアの有数カンガルー玉袋製造者であるジョン・クルーガー氏によると激しい天気になるとカンガルーがもっと安全である内陸へ逃げ狩りづらくなる。
 気候変動による激しい天気の頻度が高くなっている。

Kangaroo Scrotums Are the New Victims of Global Warming(英語)

Kangaroo Crank

Kangaroo crank from Maruishi Cycle


Continuing on from yesterday’s entry, there’s more Maruishi Cycle brilliance on show.
Here is a bicycle crank featuring a kangaroo motif.
This work is especially notable as it was done before World War II.
Also note the kangaroo print on the pedal shaft.
Pretty amazing bit of work, though the kangaroo connection remains a bit of a mystery, yet once again forms a link between Japan and Australia.