Takashi Yanase [Anpanman] gave courage to the world! When the Flower of Courage Blooms


I’ve been in the 5th grade of elementary school since April, and I found “Takashi Yanase – Anpanman’s Courage” in my Japanese textbook!



This “Takashi Yanase – Courage of Anpanman” is very important as a “biography”! Study hard!




But…how should I learn?

I will answer these questions.


“Takashi Yanase – Anpanman’s Courage” in the Japanese language textbook for fifth graders is a so-called “biography”. The aim is for students to understand what is written in the text and how to learn it, to perceive the way of life of people from the events and figures depicted in the text, and to think about their own way of life. is.


Takashi Yanase [Anpanman] gave courage to the world! When the Flower of Courage Blooms



I think many people have seen Anpanman at least once. Also, many of you may have seen Takashi Yanase on TV.

Takashi Yanase was always smiling. Takashi Yanase always made people smile.

However, Takashi Yanase’s life was not all smiles. Separation from my family, war, death of my younger brother, inferiority complex, and many other painful events.

However, it is precisely because of these things that Takashi Yanase has created so many works that have brought smiles to so many people and given them courage.

This article is on October 13, 2013, nine years after Takashi Yanase passed away. This is the story of Takashi Yanase’s life that I would like children who love Anpanman and those who loved Anpanman when they were little to know.


■What you can learn from reading this article
  • Biography of Takashi Yanase
    Takashi Yanase’s secret story about the birth of Anpanman
    Takashi Yanase Anpan’s Courage

Profile and life of Takashi Yanase


Takashi Yanase was born on February 6, 1919 and died on October 13, 2013.

Birthplace: Kita Ward, Tokyo. Active period: 1947-2013

Takashi Yanase’s hometown is Kita-ku, Tokyo, but he moved from place to place in Japan during his childhood due to family circumstances. It was Takashi Yanase in his childhood who had a complicated family environment, such as the death of his father and the remarriage of his mother.

Takashi Yanase was born in 1919 in Kita Ward, Tokyo. His father moved to Asahi Shimbun the year after Takashi Yanase was born, and in 1923 he moved to Shanghai alone as a correspondent.

After that, her mother and Takashi Yanase also went to Shanghai, and the family started living together, but when her father was transferred to Xiamen (Fujian Province), she left her father and returned to Tokyo with her mother. .

In 1942, her father died in Xiamen, so following her late father’s connections, she moved with her mother and younger brother to Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture. After a while, their mother remarried, and the brothers, Takashi Yanase, were taken in by an uncle on his paternal side who was a practicing doctor in Kochi Prefecture, where they moved to.

It seems that the uncle was a hobbyist, and later revealed that he had a great influence on Takashi Yanase’s life.

As a young man, Takashi Yanase wanted to pursue painting, which he had been interested in since he was a child, and enrolled in the design course of the Tokyo Higher School of the Arts (currently the Design Course of the Chiba University General Engineering Department).

Takashi Yanase’s war experience

After graduating from university, I got a job at a general company. However, the world is in the middle of World War II. Far from mastering painting, it became difficult even to live, and I spent several turbulent years.

During the war, Takashi Yanase joined Tokyo Tanabe Seiyaku (now Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma) and was assigned to the advertising department. However, in 1941, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Recruitment Corps.

Takashi Yanase was highly educated, so when he applied for an officer candidate, he passed the exam called “Otsukan” and was selected as a non-commissioned officer in the unit that deciphers codes.

Takashi Yanase A Journey to Master Painting

After the Second World War, when the world began to gradually regain its composure, Takashi Yanase began to feel that he wanted to draw pictures, which he had enjoyed as a hobby.

My first job after the war was at the Kochi Shimbun. Assigned to the editorial department of “Monthly Kochi”, while holding the title of editor, I will work on the cover and manga of the magazine with my own hands.

Then he moved to Tokyo again and got a job in the advertising department of Mitsukoshi and worked as a graphic designer. He was in charge of designing wrapping paper for Mitsukoshi.

As I continued to write manga while continuing to work as a designer, I worked on the company’s in-house newsletter and applied for newspapers and magazines.

Takashi Yanase continued to draw manga as if it were a side job, and little by little he began to earn income from manga.

By March 1953, his income from manga had tripled his salary, so he decided to quit Mitsukoshi and make a living from manga alone.

However, less than 10 years after becoming independent, the company has been easily frustrated.

From around the 1960s, “story-type manga” represented by Osamu Tezuka gradually increased its share of the manga market.

The manga drawn by Takashi Yanase is a genre called “adult manga” and “nonsense manga”, and although it was popular for a while, his popularity declined and his income as a manga artist decreased.

Takashi Yanase Encounter with Sanrio

Sanrio, known for fancy goods such as Hello Kitty, saved Takashi Yanase from the crisis.

In the mid-1960s, Mr. Shintaro Tsuji, who was the president of Yamanashi Silk Center (the predecessor of Sanrio), visited an exhibition of Manga Group, to which Takashi Yanase belonged.

Mr. Shintaro Tsuji, who was in the midst of trial and error to create a hit product while selling small items, saw Takashi Yanase’s work at the exhibition and asked him to design a product package and create a cartoon.

In 1966, Takashi Yanase was planning to publish a collection of poems, but he was having trouble finding a publisher. When Mr. Shintaro Tsuji heard this story, Sanrio had no experience in publishing and no know-how at the time, but he gladly suggested, “If that’s the case, let’s publish at home.”

Takashi Yanase’s first collection of poems, “Aisuru Uta,” was published, and became a big hit, recording sales that greatly increased Sanrio’s performance.

This success led to the publishing of picture books from Sanrio’s publishing department.

Late bloomer as a picture book author! already 47 years old


Together with manga artist Noboru Baba, we will launch the “Manga Artist’s Picture Book Association”. Takashi Yanase, who achieved rapid growth in the picture book industry, created his own representative work, “Anpanman”.

Takashi Yanase: Anpanman birth secret story

Japan went to war with China and I was only able to work for a pharmaceutical company as a designer for a year. He was drafted and sent to the battlefields of mainland China.

I had to walk 40 kilometers a day, contract malaria and develop a high fever.

As the war intensified, food became scarce, and we ate only two meals, morning and evening, and we ate thin rice porridge with very little rice.

Mr. Yanase says, “The hardest thing was hunger.” There was nothing to eat, so I ate wild grasses such as dandelions, and I also ate tea leaves that my superiors drank.


When the war ended in 1945, Yanase, who returned to Japan for the first time in four years, learned that his younger brother had been killed in action. In the grief of losing his younger brother who helped each other, Mr. Yanase

“Why did Chihiro die and I survived…”


“What on earth did you want to do? If I were to do it for you, what would I do…”


I started asking myself, “What is justice?”


“Real justice is sharing food with a hungry person.”

“War is about killing people, but sharing food is about keeping people alive and supporting them.”

…that’s what I realized.

Food was important to people during and after the war.

And I decided to make a picture book with characters who have this belief because those who give necessary help to those who are really in trouble are “allies of justice.”



Takashi Yanase – Courage of Anpanman

At the age of 54, Yanase published a picture book. The title is “Anpanman”. This was the birth of Anpanman, who later became a popular figure in Japan.

Anpanman was different from conventional heroes. He loses power just by getting his face wet, and he doesn’t have cool weapons.

But when someone is in trouble, I rush to them first. And he cheers him up by feeding him his face.

Based on the painful experience of war I talked about in the previous chapter, the main character was born from the conclusion that he asked himself about justice and life.

However, in the beginning, it was not well received by adults, saying things like, “It’s cruel to feed your face!”


Courage of Anpanman!


Mr. Yanase

“If you try to do justice and help people, you have to be prepared to hurt yourself.” You might get bullied, but when you really want to help, you get real courage!”

I will continue to believe.

Mr. Yanase continued to draw Anpanman even though he was not popular. Then, kindergarten and nursery school teachers send words of encouragement, such as, “My children love Anpanman,” and “Everyone reads picture books until they fall apart.”

And Anpanman became an anime and became a character loved by a wide range of generations.

Also, during the Great East Japan Earthquake and other disasters that occurred on March 11, 2011, the chorus of “Anpanman March” was played repeatedly.

アンパンマンのマーチ 歌詞つき ダンス みんなで踊ってね


Book “Boku to Seigi to Anpanman”

Why were you born and what do you live for? ・・・A warm essay that makes you think about the answer. He never underestimates the children who are his readers, and his attitude of not forgetting to respect “children” is wonderful, and I want to emulate him.

“I want my children to have love and courage. In today’s world, there is a tendency to be embarrassed to say such things honestly. But things like “love, courage, adventure” are very important. This is because the desire to help each other arises. (“Me, Justice and Anpanman” P27)


If I Talk About Justice / Takashi Yanase

You can’t do justice without getting hurt.” These words left an impression on me. A book where you can touch the origin of Anpanman. It was a good opportunity to think about my own way of justice.。


I would be happy if you could refer to it even a little.

Thank you for reading to the end.


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