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Norakuro

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Norakuro (のらくろ?) is a Japanese manga and anime created by Suihō Tagawa. The central character, Norakuro, or Norakuro-kun, is a black and white dog. The name Norakuro is an abbreviation of norainu (野良犬?, stray dog) and Kurokichi (黒吉?, the name of the dog, literally meaning "black lucky").

Norakuro strongly influenced Machiko Hasegawa, the author of Sazae-san, who apprenticed with its author Suihō Tagawa.

There is an excerpt that appears in the sixth Kramer's Ergot comics anthology which is the only example of Tagawa's work published in English.

History

In the original story, Norakuro was a soldier serving in an army of dogs, in the 'fierce dogs brigade' (猛犬連隊 mōkenrentai?). The story began in 1931, and was clearly based on the Japanese Imperial army of the time. The artist, Suihō, had served in the Imperial army from 1919 to 1922. Norakuro is gradually promoted from private to sergeant in the stories, which are humorous episodes.

Norakuro stopped during the second world war, but after the war, due to the popularity of the strip, he returned in various guises, including a sumo wrestler and a botanist.

Pre-war animated films based on the military Norakuro, and two post war animated television series of Norakuro, in 1970 and 1987, have also been produced. In the 1970 series, the voice of Norakuro was played by Nobuyo Ōyama, also known as the voice of Doraemon.

During the 1980s and early 1990s Norakuro was the mascot of the Physical Training School (Tai-Iku Gakko) of the Japan Self Defense Force. The Physical training school is the Japanese near equivalent of the US Olympic Training Center.

External links

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