Let's begin our look at Forgotten Anime with this interesting little tidbit from 1966, Toheimo Studio's HIKARU NIHON NO BODEI MONOGATARI, or SHINING JAPANESE BODY STORY. This was a two-hour special meant to entertain as it educated children about the workings of the human body, and specifically the physiology of the Japanese body. Schoolboy Akio and his sister Ruri are shrunk down to miniscule size by wacky Dr. Tongo and ride in his tiny little submarine through the nervous and digestive systems of their Papa to find out why Papa is sick.
After learning about how Papa's autonomic nervous system is more attuned to nature than any Gaijin's (due to being descended from the goddess Amataratsu), Akio and Ruri then travel to Papa's digestive tract. "Oh, what a long trip!" exclaims Ruri. Dr. Tongo explains that it seems so long because the Japanese intestine is 15% longer than the intestines of anyone else on Earth, and it is because of this that neither Papa, nor Ruri, nor Akio, nor any other pure-blooded Japanese person can consume rice grown outside of the island of Japan. Thus they finally conclude that this is why Papa is sick-- he unwittingly had rice balls for a snack that were made from rice grown in India!
After Dr. Tongo returns Akio and Ruri to their normal size, they berate their papa for his poor choice in snack. Papa agrees to be more careful from hereon in, and then, as the scene fades, makes a loud and very comical gaseous noise.
It may come as no surprise that this film was produced by the Japanese Rice Growers' Council.
All contents copyright © 2003 Shaindle Minuk.