Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

On 31 March 2023, Google celebrate Satoshi Kako’s 97th Birthday with a doodle.  Satoshi Kako (31 March 1926 – 2 May 2018) was a Japanese author and illustrator who created children’s books that are read to this day. He wrote over 600 stories, and his engineering and scientific background inspired him to add a unique spin to make each tale educational, enjoyable, and stimulating for Japanese youth.

Life and Career

Satoshi Kako was born on 31 March 1926 in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.

His real name was Satoshi Nakajima. As a boy, he was surrounded by other talented kids who encouraged him to take up drawing. Kako studied chemistry at Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) and graduated in 1948. While in school, he joined a theater study group and began writing scripts an designing stage sets for children’s plays.

Satoshi Kako originally trained as an applied chemist and had a successful career as a chemical engineer. Kako is a highly productive illustrator who has produced almost 700 works, many of which he has also written himself. In Japan, he is best known for his educational works that combine his engineering and scientific background with his love of storytelling.

Kako’s works for very young children include The Story of Your Teeth, which was written in response to widespread dental problems among Japanese children in the 1970s. It has since been reduced to two.) Kako explains how teeth work, what causes decay, and how cavities can be prevented. His goal was to encourage children to feel more responsible for cleaning their teeth themselves.

Kako is most known for the Daruma-chan series about Little Daruma, a boy who goes on countless adventures and makes new friends along the way. He also wrote many stories that taught kids about everyday topics like brushing their teeth, traditional Japanese games, baking, and more.

He died on 2 May 2018; however, his legacy continued.

Award and Legacy

Throughout his long career as an author, Kako won many awards like the Takahashi Gozan Special Award in 1985, the Japanese Science Reading Award in 1991, and the Kanagawa Culture Award in 2009.

Kako also actively promoted traditional Japanese games through his ethnographic studies of children’s play and continues to tell stories using the traditional kamishibai (play-card) theater cards. His The Story of Shiro, The White Elephant tells the story of a young elephant whose mother lays down her life to protect him from a fire. The publication raises funds for the Japan National Welfare Foundation for Disabled Children.

On 31 March 2023, Google celebrated Satoshi Kako’s 97th Birthday with a doodle.

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