One of the books that I received from the very generous person who gave me used books was the book “Rascal.”  It’s a good book, set in 1918 about a boy who keeps a racoon as a pet.

I found it interesting because Japan has a tiny bit of a Rascal craze.  Or used to, I should say.  Years ago, there was a cartoon loosely based on the book.  And so now you can still see the racoon on items like notepads and folders, as evidenced by the picture below.

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So yeah, I daresay Rascal the Racoon is more famous in Japan than in the United States.

And yes, maybe people who watch TV in America are aware of this, Japan now has a huge racoon problem due to the popularity of the cartoon.  Racoons are indigenous to North America, not Japan.  So when they were brought here as pets, and then released into the wild, they thrived and now wreak havoc on wooden structures like temples and shrines.  (I saw the racoon special with my dad!)

We also have a plate with the racoon Rascal on it!  That shows you the level of Rascal love in Japan.  Here is the Rascaly site.

Ready for some youtube?  The official name of the cartoon is Araiguma Rasukaru (Araiguma means “racoon” literally “washing bear”)  This is the theme song.  This is the cartoon.  The song has English in it, but the cartoon itself is only in Japanese.

 

And now for our next read-aloud!  “Shooting Kabul”  I love read-alouds.