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Japan to intergrate Doraemon and other comics into primary school curriculum


TOKYO – Doraemon, Anpanman’s superhero and also the young Chibi Maruko-chan are among the Japanese comic book characters enrolled to teach children how to distinguish between right and wrong in a fun way.

These “manga” characters – comics in Japan – appear in the textbooks of elementary school ethical education.

The latest version of the texts for the 2018 curriculum will appear in schools in April of the same year after the Minister of Education released them on March 24. In it, the purpose is to help children reflect on the their life choices through their favorite characters, now a reference model.

A section titled “Nobita ni mabao” (learning with Nobita) in the Nihon Bunyou Shuppan ethics books uses the main characters of the Doraemon comic, a story about a child and his friend and helper, a robot cat from the future that gives the manga its title.

Nobita is a 10-year-old child who is “not good at either studies or sports, and is generally wrong about everything he does,” but for the authors of the book he “has some fantastic features”: although “good at nothing “in fact, he immediately rises above adversity, is kind to everyone and has a hearty affection. The book invites children to think about how Nobita lives and how children want to live in the future.

Doraemon’s characters appear in other educational texts produced by Kobunshoin Publishing Co., Kosaido Akatsuki Co. and Tokyo Shoseki Co.

The first of these also includes a section called “Chibi Maruko-chan to Kangaeyo!” (Think Chibi Maruko-chan!) The textbook, with suggestions on how to make friends and talk to others, is trying to fight bullying, a problem often faced by Japanese manga.

Other textbooks have included authors’ life stories: Fujiko Fujio, author of Doraemon; Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy; The mangaka artist (manga designer) Tetsuya Chiba, author of Rocky Joe; The illustrator of Anpanman, Takashi Yanase, and others. – AsiaNews/Agencies

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