JapanSalamandercut3I’ve been travelling to Japan 27 times now and I am super-excited to arrive here again today.
When I was a child, I had no ideas of Japan whatsoever. It was also a time when Manga was almost completely unknown in Germany.
Popular animation TV series like Die Biene Maja (みつばちマーヤの冒険, Mitsubachi Māya no Bōken), Wickie (小さなバイキングビッケ), Heidi (アルプスの少女ハイジ Arupusu no Shōjo Haiji),  or Pinocchio (ピコリーノの冒険, Pikorīno no bōken),  which were produced by Zuiyo Enterprise (later: Nippon Animation) in Japan appeared like German productions to me, since they were dubbed in German and covered “European” stories and characters.
So my very first image of Japan was a complimentary comic from German Salamander shoe store. I liked this shoe shop because with every purchase children would receive a complimentary comic about the adventures of Salamander hero Lurchi. The stories rhymed and this black-and-yellow animal wearing Salamnder shoes would always find himself in situations where the use and high quality of his shoes would help him out. One episode was about Lurchi travelling with his fellows to Japan. And although Japan felt very exotic and dangerous to little Mijk in this story (vulcano eruptions, earthquakes, hot fountains), I liked the friendly communication between Lurchi’s bunch and the Japanese people. This was actually one of my favourite Lurchi stories.
I posted this already on my Facebook page in April 2013 and one comment pointed out, that the images resemble the Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga of the 12th century
Here’s that story and if you cannot read German or German script, I hope you will enjoy the pictures.
I’m having an ice coffee with Inarizushi now.
See you in Japan! 😉


JapanSalamander003Artwork courtesy of Copyright by Salamander

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