Famous People in Japan


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Gonta-kun was a doll as big as a human being. A man played him, wearing clothes shaped like a strange animal, which looked like a half dog and half raccoon dog ("tanuki") to me. His body was furry and brown spotted with yellow. He wore a yellow hat like a helmet made of something hard. His eyes were round and bright, and his nose was a very red sphere. He could stand with two feet and talk as well as a human being, sometimes barking "U-ho U-ho". The sound is very funny.

He appeared in the TV program "Dekiru-kana" for little children, which showed how to make toys from stuff we can collect easily-unused boxes, bottles or packages of milk and so on. A man called 'Noppo-san' performed with him, who didn't or maybe couldn't talk at all but just did gestures. So instead of him, Gonta-kun explained what Noppo-san was doing.

It was fairly popular among the children in the age when we were little, but its last broadcast came, because of the death of the radio actor, I hear, who did the voice of Gonta-kun. This made us very sad and disappointed.

We sometimes can see Gonta-kun around us. Gonta-kun is uesd for the straps of handy phones. And Gonta-kun and Noppo-san are seen in the frame of "print club" machines (photo machines that make tiny seal pictures).

Gonta-kun is loved by many people even now.

Reported by: Yumiko Hosokawa Data verified by: Mariko Matano
Date of Report: November 1995, Updated May 1996
Updated by: Akiko Tanaka, June 1997
Updated by: Yuuko Mizutani, May 1998

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