Guri and Gura

Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki comments that the concept of kids maturing through adventures is “a lie”

At an event held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Japanese author Rieko Nakagawa’s worldwide best seller Guri to Gura (or Guri and Gura in English), friend and fellow artist Hayao Miyazaki has gone on record to say that – unlike in many of the animated features he has created to date – children do not simply head out on adventures and come back smarter and more mature, calling the idea “a lie”.

Read More

The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

Read More

Guri and Gura, the classic children’s book that’s a little bit different in every country

First published back in 1963, Rieko Nakagawa and Yuriko Omura’s Guri to Gura is one of Japan’s most beloved children’s books. Nearly every adult and child in the country has read or been read the story and has been enchanted by the tale of two mice who overcome one of the cutest logistical problems ever in order to cook up a cake big enough to last a whole day.

Over the years, the book has been translated into dozens of languages, from English to Esperanto, to the point that few now realise the story originally come from Japan. Hawk-eyed netizens in Japan have noticed, however, that in some versions of the delightful tale the dish the field mice cook up at the end of the story changes depending on the country in which the book is published. Let’s take a look to see how Guri and Gura differs the world over.

Read More