Japanese Girls Love Russian Cheburashka

A Russian cartoon character became rather popular in Japan

In a huge toy store in Tokyo, one can hear someone squeaking in the Russian language. The sound comes from a TV set, which shows Russian cartoon series about Cheburashka - a little funny animal with very big ears.

The television set is standing on the shelf, on which there are a lot of toys from the Russian cartoon - Cheburashkas and other toys and things devoted to the cartoon. There is a poster hanging above the shelf: the word "Cheburashka" is written there in the Cyrillic and then translated into the Japanese as "Tieburasika."

Everybody in Russia is accustomed to Harry Potters, Pokemons, Barbies, but it is really surprising to see a Russian cartoon character in Japan. " Tieburasika" is very popular in Japan, - a shop assistant says. - We started selling it last autumn. Small children do not buy this toy, though, but young girls of 20-25 years old do. They think that the toy is very sweet. We play videos of the cartoon - people buy them too."

The Russian major cartoon company Soyuzmultfilm concluded a contract with the company SP International in March of the current year. According to the contract, SP International has obtained rights to promote the cartoons of the Russian company abroad. One may find Cheburashkas of all sizes in Japanese toy stores: very small ones for 500 yens ($4), or bigger ones for 2,000 yens ($16). They all have a "made in China" label. One can even find "native" Russian Cheburashkas in Japan - the ones that were produced in Russia – they cost about 3,000 yens ($25).

In addition to stuffed Cheburashkas, Japanese stores sell a lot of other things with its image: bags, purses, notebooks, napkins, pens, and so on and so forth. There is also Cheburashka's best friend from the cartoon - crocodile Gena, which is made in China too. Chinese toy-makers made the green reptile look somewhat ridiculous: instead of a small accordion it has a big red-blue bayan in his hands. 

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Author`s name Olga Savka