When my family first got cable, I remember watching NHK. Now, as a person who doesn’t speak Japanese at all, and being a Japanese wannabe… the only programs I could actually follow sans subtitles were kid shows. One of them is the long-lasting Okaasan to Issho, which apparently began showing on October 5h, 1959. I think the first time I saw the show was in 1999… or I could be wrong and be 1998. Anyway, if you don’t know about it… it’s like hmm, Menudo meets Sesame Street, but for really really small kids. I’m guessing 2-3 years old. The show has been inventing and re-inventing itself throughout the years. Changing life-size-puppets, and hosts in their many years.
Since I began watching in the late 90’s, I’ve seen 2 different sets of life-size-puppets. And I think I’ve seen my fare rotation of hosts… including the first set of 4 hosts, and 2 hosts in this last week. The first set I’m talking about is the Do Re Mi Fa Nattsu Do! puppets, which included 2 French poodles (I’m guessing siblings), a gorilla and what I think it was a badger.
By that time, there were what I supposed were the regular hosts, as I had no idea this show had been so long on the air. Two guys, and two girls… a pair did the gymnastics, and the other pair the songs.
- Guy: Sugita Akihiro
- Girl: Tsunoda Ryoko
- Guy: Hiromichi Sato (who apparently became ubber famous, had even another show I recall. He was on the show for 10 years or so…)
- Girl:Tari Kiyoko (like for real, I don’t really remember her face much. But I do recall her crazy Indian workout.)
I remember Hiromichi Sato used to sing the “A I U E O” song, and all the little kids would run around. Ha! Then, the poodles would come after the song, and begin singing “Do Re Mi Fa Densha” (Do Re Mi Fa Train). Cute. Then, BAM! All of a sudden (for me), all the puppets were changed! Blasphemy, I said!!! They have changed the show!!! Then, of course, I realized that they have only changed the format… though these new puppets were WEIRD. My dad called the green one (her name is Zuzu, I think) a frog… but can’t be a frog because it has green fur! LOL’
Then my mom called the main puppet who happens to be yellow, a bee… but it’s a very weird bee, methinks. His name is Supu… and then one more weird boy animal being named Jacoby, and another girl named Anemu. The BIZARRE beings came along to create the skit of Gu~Chokorantan.
Then, next thing I know… Sugita Akihiro, and Tsunoda Ryoko are gone! And I am left with two new singing hosts. His name is Imai Yuzo, and her name is Haida Shoko… and actually, they were pretty fun. Kawaii~~~
And in year 2005, Hiromichi Sato and Tari Kiyoko leave the show, so we’ve got or brand new 4 hosts matching the puppets. LOL’
Singing Girl: Haida Shoko
Singing Guy: Imai Yuzo
- Gymnastics Girl: Itou Mayu (not sure about the name, aka Miho Itou) *EDIT* Just found a gymnastic segment online featuring Itou Mayu.
- Gymnastics Guy: Yoshi Hisa Kobayashi (not sure either, aka Takehisa Kobayashi)
In this version of the show, Yoshi (like Hiromichi Sato) begins singing for the kids to run around. The song called PAWAWAPUTAISOU… PAWA as in Power, power up! xD And then Supu, the weird furry bee comes up with his trumpet/hornet and all begin singing SUPURAPPI SUPURAPPA. (click here for a Special Supurappi version inlcuded at the end when Haida Shoko and Imai Yuzo say their goodbyes, and introduce new hosts)
Then, just at the beginning of the month (April’08), Haida Shoko and Imai Yuzo left the show, and I find myself with new hosts! – and the new girl host, Takumi Mitani, she looks like my friend Maca x’D Not so much on photos, but on video. LOL’ WORD. Anyway~~ so this is the current hosting:
- Singing Girl: Takumi Mitani
- Singing Guy: Daisuke Yokoyama
- Gymnastics Girl: Itou Mayu (aka, Miho Itou)
- Gymnastics Guy: Yoshi Hisa Kobayashi (aka, Takehisa Kobayashi)
For detailed information, I suggest going to the unofficial fanclub… though it’s all in Japanese. Google Translate works okay. Loads of information there.
Yes, i recognise the singing and gymnastic people. I got to know this show through my toddler son who enjoys so much.Unfortunately i am not able to sing those songs for him. If there are some good souls, who can translate those lyrics for me to pronoun those song lyrics. It be great!
I got lyrics for three Okaasan to Issho songs. Two of them [Hajimete Hajimemashite, Manmaru SUMAIRU] are from the current season with the new nature characters [wind, rain and lightning], and the other is a song from the 1999 season [Dango San Kyou Dai]
Sorry, just pronunciation. No translation.
I’m trying to figure out which songs on Okaasan were Brazilian songs. I’ve been hearing these Brazilian (mostly kids) songs lately that I recognize even though the words are in Portuguese, not Japanese. We’ve watch Okaasan off and on since the 90s.
This is a great article! Thanks so much for writing about this show: I’ve been curious about it for years. Today I finally decided to look it up (I’ve got the TV Japan premium channel on cable). Your post answers a ton of questions I’d accumulated over the years.
There is one unanswered question that drives me crazy, though: what, exactly, are the three costumed characters supposed to be, animal-wise? I read in Wiki that they’re supposed to be the children of weather gods, but that doesn’t really help. One appears to be a goat, another a female cat– but that third: is he a badger? Dog?
Any help would be appreciated and would let my OCD-mind quit trying to figure it out!
The Weather Gods from the MONORAN MONORAN モノランモノラン sequence — I think their names were Raigo (Thunder), Suirin (Water/Rain), and PUUTO (Wind – I hate his name xD) — they were changed a few weeks after the Tohoku Earthquake. I don’t think they were supposed to be shaped as any animal, though.
Raigo had a cloud face with thunder, Suirin looked like a water drop, and PUUTO… he had water hair that looked wavy because of the wind. LOL
The other three characters you’re referring to aren’t weather gods. They’re from the new segment POKOPOTEITO ポコポッテイト. MUTEKichi seems to be indeed a badger, MINYA is a Munchkin cat, and MEKOBU is actually a Jacob sheep.
Hope that helps! And thank you for leaving the comment! xD I just recently did a post on the show because Itou Mayu is gone! I was shocked~~~
Is MUTEKichi a badger or a tanuki? Sometimes tanuki are referred to as badgers. I can’t quite place what MUTEKichi looks like, so I’m not basing that question on looks, just on what I know about tanuki and their prevalence in Japanese culture and folklore; it just seems more likely that a children’s character would be a tanuki. I’m not that familiar with the stuffed characters from the show, even though I have seen them over and over and over; we watch it for the music and dance. In my younger son’s long long childhood (he has special needs), many of the songs from this show have remained among his all time favorites. Some of the songs on this show have got to be among the all-time best songs ever created for children.
Well, the Okaasan to Issho website has MUTEKichi as a ラーテルの男の子 RATERU, which is a honey badger. I think for this batch of characters they went for “foreign” animals since I doubt Munchkin cats or Jacob sheeps are easily found in Japan…
I agree, they have great songs! I currently love their PAN song, and before Itou Mayu left, she and Yoshi Kobayashi had the sushi song. xD
Wow- thanks for the information! WRT the animal characters, that makes sense: regular black-and-white badger (thought he might have been a skunk, but the tail was wrong). They really chose random, obscure animals for the other two, though: munchkin cat? Jacob sheep? Wow- wonder how they were chosen?
I grew up seeing the Japanese kids magazines at various places in San Jose and had always thought the different sets of animals were completely different shows (the poodles, the monsters, etc.). You’ve cleared up a mystery I didn’t even know was there.
Zannen, I downloaded the videos 4 years ago, now they delete all the videos!
How can I watch them again? Do you know?
Check your email :)
You’re so kind thanks!
hi! can you email me the video please! I used to watch these when I was 4-6 years old. I attended kingdergarden in Japan when my father was studying there. Misa this show! my email; – (it’s an icloud email, yes it’s weird). Many thanks!!
The fourth animal from “Do Re Mi Fa Do-Nattsu!” isn’t a badger. It’s a tree kangaroo!
For “Poko Potteito”, the animal choices are not related to whether or not they are found in Japan. The characters’ personalities are supposed to be similar to the characteristics of the animals.
Mutekichi: has the honey badger’s fighting spirit, courage, and never-give-up attitude.
Miinya: has the competitive spirit and physical prowess of a cat (Mutekichi mixes up her kind name, Manchikan neko, with Tonchinkan neko, meaning “Crazy Cat”).
Meekobu: has the tradition, prestige, patience, and calmness of a Jacob sheep.
Wow, I didn’t know tree kangaroos existed! Thanks for all that info.
I haven’t followed the show in a while, though, since Itou Mayu left. The new mascots seem to have stuck around a while…
hey, can you send me the video aswell? Im having a hard tiem trying to find them on the internet.
Hi ! I can’t believe how much information you have about this show, I really enjoyed it as a kid (I used to watch this show when the weird characters came to it and I truly loved them xd). Part of my family is from Japan so they made me watch Japanese TV shows, even if I couldn’t understand a thing xd. I’d really love to watch at least one episode of it. Thank you for your blog. It’s amazing <3
Hi, thank you for dropping by :)
Old episodes of the show are really hard to come by, since NHK is pretty strict about their copyright, so it’s a pity all the links I included on the post are dead. I sometimes catch the show when the TV is on, they’re in a new set of hosts and puppets (it’s their 2nd or 3rd puppet change), but surprisingly the Gymnastic guy hasn’t changed since this post. lol
Omg and i used to think i was the only kid back then who watched this show on TV even without knowing japanese LOL. I used to watch it a lot back in 2009/2010… btw, there used to be 2 shows before Okaasan that i also used to love, one of them involved a really fat buy (who looked like a sumo wrestler!?) and some children, tiny ones and bigger ones. Did you watch this one too? THEIR SONGS WERE SO CUTE. I could never find it again :~
I’m back to watching NHK pretty often these days, and my 1yo daughter seems to love Okaasan… maybe she could learn japanese from it lol. Thank you for such and amazing article that brought back a lot of memories <3
The other show you’re referring to is Nihongo de Asobo (にほんごであそぼ), and it still shows. The current schedule is Nihongo de Asobo at 17hrs-17:11hrs, followed by Let’s Enjoy English with Orton (there used to be a program called Eigo de Asobo- so the English version of Playing with Japanese), followed by Inai inai ba! (Peek-A-Boo!), and Okaasan to Issho :) from M-F. There’s also another show, based off Okaasan to Issho, but aimed at ‘dads’ so it’s called Otousan to Issho xD but that’s on weekends only. Not as good, in my biased opinion. LOL
There’s a really good new one, aimed at older children, it’s called Go! Go! Cook R’n (ゴー！ゴー！キッチン戦隊クックルン), which is a hybrid super sentai cooking show for kids LOL. Thank you for passing by ^^ watching foreign programming does help with learning a language. Your daughter might be able to speak to you in Japanese quite easily. :P
THANK YOU FOR THIS!
I remember watching this show on NHK when I was a kid, and only recently remembered it! I had a hard time searching because I only remember the characters from ぐ～チョコランタン. Thank you! Now I know which show they cane from and what their names are! ^_^
Could you send me the videos please¡!?? I really liked this show- and now i want to show to my kid.
NHK deleted all videos relative to it😔😪
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Rest in peace, Yuzo Imai.
Oh, man. I’m so sorry to hear this. RIP.