Check It Out

No.241 (8/9/13)

What Day is August 9? ―It's Moomin's Day!

By Yoko Fukuyama Guest Writer

Well, it's Tove Jansson's birthday, actually. Many of you have seen this sweet-looking character from the famous children's book or on some goods. Let's take a look at the background of this story. Tove was working as an illustrator for an anti-war magazine during WWU. She wanted to escape from reality and started to create this fantasy world. She recalled her happy childhood and beautiful homeland-Finland. Moomin Valley was a peaceful place for her. The original name, Moomintroll was made up by Tove's uncle. He used to scare her. "Moomintroll is behind the stove and going to catch you if you do something bad"

Translated into more than 35 languages, the world of Moomintroll has been loved by children and adults all over the world. It's a hit in Japan. Why? Impressions people have of the stories of Moomin are not only positive but also negative like dark and serious, sometimes even philosophical. The residents of Moomin Valley have the same kinds of problems we have in our life. So, young women think that Moomin goods are not so childish to own.

There are several stands and cafes where you can enjoy this imaginary world. Moomin Cafes are in Fukuoka and Tokyo (close to the Tokyo Dome). Moomin House Caf? is located at Soramachi of Tokyo SkyTree Town. The caf? includes a bakery and a shop selling original merchandise (mostly kitchenware). You can taste unique Finnish sparkling wine and several kinds of bread. There are even kid's plates, too. They serve seasonal Nordic home cooking in a comfy space. At each table, the stuffed character (life-sized) sits and waits for you. You will be enchanted! "Come see us!"

Moomintroll: a young troll, not a hippo. Looks for fun and adventure and hibernates in the winter.
Moominpappa: Moomintroll's father. Likes to be adventurous, always wears a black top-hat and cultivates his own tobacco.
Moominmamma: Moomintroll's mother. Always wears a red-white stripy apron and a black purse, which is the second most important thing after her life.
Snufkin: Moomintroll's best friend. A vagabond who plays the guitar, harmonica, and accordion and solves other's problems with his wisdom.
Little My: Snufkin's big sister. Has 35 siblings, is fearless and independent. Says something impudent but never does mean things to others.

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