ごん狐 by Niimi Nankichi

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Last weekend I met Mr. Kuromiya and his sister (Ms.Setsuko) and they told me about Ms.Setsuko’s recent work that she dedicated to one of the most famouse Japanese Children’s literature writer, Nankichi Niimi. And this morning, I enjoyed reading his heart warming poets together with Ms.Setsuko’s art work while I had breakfast this morning.

You can check some of their works from the bellow link.


“Gon,the little fox” and “Buying Mittens” are some of the most popular storys written by Nankichi Niimi, and most of Japanese had read his stories with the picture book or on the text book that had been used for the Japanese class at the most of public elementary school. And so I did. But until last week, I didn’t knew this story was written by Nankichi when he was only 19 years old. He was working on his numerous writings while he worked as a teacher, and he died when he was only 29 years old.


I don’t think I could never write such great story when I was 19. And at the same time I thought… that the average of human life is getting longer and longer these years, but I don’t want to have long loooong life while it’s diluted with the laziness. His simple and plane but straight and beautiful world was there in his storys.  And they reminded me not to forget something essential and important in our life, no matter how many the new technology had invention had made our life easier, that we shall never forget.


皇后陛下が平成10年に行われた国際児童図書評議会世界大会で講演された際にご紹介された作品「デンデンムシノ カナシミ」の原稿を刻んだ碑があるという、新美南吉記念館には是非一度足をはこんでみたいものです。来年(2013年)は 南吉生誕100年。いろいろな記念行事も行われるみたい。「ごん」と「兵十(ひょうじゅう)」が顔を見合わせた小さな河原は今も健在だとか…

Have you ever heard the story titled, “DENDEN MUSHI NO NAMIDA (Tears of  Snail)” that her majesty the Empress introduced at The jubilee congress of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) back in 1998? There is a stone monument of this story’s original draft at Nankichi Niimi museum in Handa-city (Aichi). And also, next year(2013) will be the 100th anniversary after  the birth of this great writer, Nankichi so there will be special expositions and partys during next year. I want to go see and check out the river bank where the fox Gon and Hyoju had found each other during next year !! 


  • kumi, the Tink
    09/09/2012, 1:15 PM  返信


  • 09/10/2012, 10:18 AM  返信

    It sounds very beautiful–I’ll have to find English translations. (You already know that I enjoy children’s books. . .) And it really is amazing that he created masterpieces at such a young age. I hope you are able to attend some of next year’s events, and wish you a pleasant–magical?–stroll along the riverbank. . .

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