Japan has a strange affinity when it comes to using Australian animals for its advertising.
A number of major Japanese corporations use koalas and roos to plug their products and services.
One with a difference is Hayashi Corporation, a construction company with a history of over 100 years and based in suburban Tokyo.
Hayashi Corporation’s Fuchu branch office entrance is adorned with photos of a family of cartoon kangaroos decked out in soccer gear, just like Australia’s national football team, the Socceroos. Japan’s next opponent in World Cup qualifying is Australia, but there’s no connection.
What is interesting to note, though, is that the kangaroos had been painted over until quite recently. They were restored after many years and now stand out prominently.
The reason for why this marsupial touch has been added to outer suburban Tokyo remains a mystery, though.
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.
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.
CNN reported globally that a 7-year-old boy lost overnight in a forest near the South Australian capital of Adelaide was saved by a kangaroo. CNNによると南オーストラリア州州都アデレード近くの森で迷子となった少年（７）がカンガルーに助けられた、と世界中に報道している。
Simon Kruger, the boy, claims that a kangaroo slept beside him when he went missing overnight.
His father called the kangaroo a “gift from God” that helped keep his son warm in the midwinter conditions.
Simon was found safe and emerged from what could have been a traumatic experience armed with a great story.
＊Personally, Kangaeroo has a number of reasons for reckoning this story may be stretching the truth a bit. If Simon’s tale is, indeed, true, then wonderful, but it kept reminding me of this story. 個人的に、考えRooがこの話がちょっと信じがたいところがあるが、シモン君の話が事実であれば最高だと思う。しかし、どうもこの話を思い浮かばせる。
A Chinese woman irked by the poor reputation of powdered skim milk produced in her homeland, got jumpy when her order of Australian-made milk contained more kick than she’d probably bargained for, not quite a boxing kangaroo, but a boxed kangaroo, according to Japanese news site Rocket News.
Citing Chinese-language news sources Sina news and ET Today, Rocket says the woman from Qingdao, in China’s Shangdong Province, ordered a box of six cans of Australian-made skim milk through an online shopping site, but only two were delivered with the extra space in the box occupied by a live kangaroo.
The kangaroo, which is in good health, was taken into the care of Qingdao zoo officials, but Rocket says it remains a mystery as to why the kangaroo was delivered. Original Story (Japanese) ネットでオーストラリア製の粉ミルクを買ったら “生きたカンガルー” が送られてきたでござる!?