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Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2012
Doraemon becomes official resident of Kawasaki a century before his birth
Doraemon, Japan's robotic cat from the future, celebrated turning minus 100 years old by being granted official residence in the city where he will be "born" in the 22nd century.
The time-traveling blue feline, whose cartoon exploits have captivated children across Asia, on Monday was awarded a residency certificate in Kawasaki exactly a century before his predetermined "birth."
Kawasaki is home to the popular Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, named after the character's creator, that displays all things Doraemon and plans to issue copies of the residency certificate to visitors.
"Doraemon was created and born in Kawasaki. In that sense, he has always been a resident of the city," Mayor Takao Abe told reporters, according to the online edition of the Kanagawa Shimbun newspaper. "I hope (the certificate) will bring the museum closer to many people."
The certificate records Doraemon's date of birth as Sept. 3, 2112, and lists his likes — pastries — and dislikes — mice.
In the classic manga series, Doraemon is sent back in time from the 22nd century by a young boy who wants to alter his family's traditional misfortune. His magic pocket provides an endless supply of fantastical gadgets that help his young friend, Nobita Nobi, navigate the trials of everyday life.
The character first appeared in manga strips in 1969, and made the transition to television and even the big screen over the following decades.
Doraemon remains enormously popular, serving as an instantly recognizable cultural reference across generations of Japanese.
The cartoon series also has a large following throughout Asia, including in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.