japanese art, design and culture
Spoon-Tamago

Happy pre-100th Birthday Doraemon

Yesterday was September 3, 2012, which marked the 100-year countdown to September 3, 2112, the day when Doraemon, the amazing cat robot, is to be born. A product of Fujiko Fujio’s imagination, Doraemon and his magical fourth-dimensional pocket, which produces fantastical gadgets from the future, have tickled the minds of children (including myself) since the 1970s to today. It was easily my favorite cartoon growing up in Tokyo. However, we didn’t have a television so I vividly remember my mom taking me to a local soba shop near our small apartment in Koenji. We would sit down and order our dinner. A couple of minutes before 7pm, my mom would stand up, walk over to the waitress, and kindly ask – in broken Japanese – if we could change the channel. Looking back, it must have been an odd sight: an American mother and her small child, quietly slurping their noodles while watching cartoons.

Doraemon,
I love that you continue to work your magic with my kids, the same way you did for me.

Here are some Doraemon pre-birthday events that were happening around the world.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, a month-long exhibition is being held (through 9/16) with all sorts of exciting memorabilia, including 100 Doraemon sculptures and a life-size gadgets.

Kawasaki, Japan

In Kawasaki (the setting for the popular show) Doraemon is named honorary citizen. The City of Kawasaki’s website experienced a surge in traffic, and even temporarily crashed, as people tried to have a look at Doraemon’s official certificate of residence (PDF).

image courtesy k-press

Toyama, Japan

In Toyama (where Fujiko Fujio was born) a Doraemon train was unveiled.

image courtesy kyodo

Google

And last but certainly not least, Google commemorates Doraemon’s birthday with a special tribute video showing how many of Doraemon’s futuristic gadgets have gone on to inspire real-life innovations.

Why didn’t they do a google doodle, you surely are wondering. Because it was done 3 years ago, on Doraemon’s 103rd pre-birthday:

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