Suiho Tagawa, Norakuro Manga Museum

By Cool Tour Guides - Last updated: 木曜日, 9月 2, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


 Norakuro Manga Museum

Name: Norakuro Manga Museum
Address: Morishita Bunka Center
3-12-17 Morishita, Koto-ku, Tokyo, 135-0004, JAPAN
Phone: +81-3-5600-8666
Business hours: 9:00-21:00
Closed: First and third Monday of each month, New Year’s holidays
Admission: Free

 Morishita Bunka Center

Norakuro Manga Museum was established in the Morishita Bunka Center in Koto Ward based on the fact that Suiho Tagawa, creator of “Norakuro,” a manga with a black dog as its hero, spent his youth in Fukagawa. “Norakuro” is a national manga which was run as a series in Kodansha’s “Shonen Club,” from 1931 to 1941. In 1965, the “Norakuro Manga Complete Collection” went on sale to great acclaim and in 1987 an anime featuring the grandson of Norakuro-kun,” was broadcast. Original drawings and sketches are on public display at the Norakuro Mange Museum. Norakuro goods are also on sale.

 Norakuro Road

On the way to the museum from Morishita Station, you will find a street called “Norakuro Road” where sign boards of Norakuro images are shown and various kinds of character goods are selling.

Rubber stamps of “Norakuro”.

Rubber stamps of “Norakuro”.


Suihoh Tagawa (/田河水泡) (February 10, 1899 – December 12, 1989) was a Japanese artist. He was born Chuutaroh Takamizawa (/高見澤仲太郎,) in Sumida, Tokyo. He graduated from Fukakawa’s municipal Rinkai Jinjo elementary school in 1911. In 1919, he joined the Japanese Imperial army, and left in 1922. In 1925, he graduated from Nihon Bijutsu Gakkoh (“Japan School of Art”). In 1926, he became a rakugo author. He began producing comics in 1927. He gained a regular assignment selling comic stories and adopted the pseudonym Awa Takamizu, which was later corrupted into Suihoh Tagawa. Suihoh literally means “water bubble”. In 1931, he began the long-running series “Private Second Class Norakuro” for the anthology magazine Shonen Club about a black and white dog in a dog army. Although at first intended to have only a brief lifespan, its immense popularity urged Tagawa to continue producing the strip. He has won numerous awards and is recognized as one of the pioneers of the Japanese manga industry. In 1988, he produced the autobiographical “Watashi no Rirekisho” (“my résumé”) for the Japanese Sankei Shimbun newspaper. He died in 1989 at the age of 90.

 Post card set

A set of post cards 500 yen

Norakuro (/のらくろ) is a Japanese manga and anime created by Suihoh 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 Suihoh 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.



In the original story, Norakuro was a soldier serving in an army of dogs, in the ‘fierce dogs brigade’ (猛犬連隊 mohkenrentai). The story began in 1931, and was clearly based on the Japanese Imperial army of the time. The artist, Suihoh, 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 World War II, 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.

<Reference materials>
Japan Anime Tourism Guide published by Japan Tourism Agency
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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