Nontan (ノンタン) is the protagonist of an eponymous series of children's picture books written by Sachiko Kiyono (キヨノサチコ). The series debuted in August 1976 with Nontan buranko o nosete (Nontan, Let Me Use the Swing) and continued with 40 volumes in its first 32 years with total sales of over 28 million copies. Books from the series have been translated into French and Chinese and turned into an anime television series in 1992 (where his voice was performed by Chiaki).
In the series, Nontan is a mischievous boy kitten who likes to play and learn about the world around him. Other characters include Pig, the rabbit triplets, Raccoon, Bear, Bee, and Nontan's little sister Taatan. When the series first appeared, it was criticized for lacking clear lessons, with some fearing it would promote bad behavior. According to the psychologist Takashi Tomita (富田たかし), it was precisely because Nontan had some bad traits and occasionally failed that children were able to feel close to him. The series has been used to prepare children for surgery, and analyzed in academic articles.
Kiyono died of a brain tumor on 19 June 2008 at age 60, but her death was not announced until December of that year.
- "ノンタン、「３０歳」に 「よい子じゃない」が魅力 絵本３４巻、２７００万部発行". Asahi Shinbun (in Japanese). 6 September 2006. p. 29.
- "「ノンタン」作者・キヨノサチコさん死去". Asahi Shinbun (in Japanese). 10 December 2008. p. 39.
- "小児患者へのプレパレーション効果--ノンタンが主人公の心臓カテーテル検査説明用ツールを導入". Safety Management (in Japanese). 3 (4): 48–51. December 2006.
- Kinugawa, Fumihito (31 March 2008). "One guide to reading and performing a picture book in view of one essence of play". Bulletin of Chiba Keizai College (in Japanese) (4). Retrieved March 31, 2016.
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