Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Japanese
Translated from: Japanese
Authors: Nakagawa, Rieko
Translated by: Ališauskas, Arvydas
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Nakagawa, Rieko. Iyaiyaen. Tokyo: Funkuinkan Shoten Publishers, Inc., 1962

ISBN: 978-5-415-02090-4
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2009
Publisher: Vaga

“No! No! Nursery school!” it’s a storybook for children, which consists of seven short but instructive stories about the everyday life of children in kindergarten “Tulip”. In the kindergarten children are divided into two groups – “Star” and “Bell”. The first group is for the children who have a lot of time before attending school, while the second group is for the children who will soon go to elementary school. Little ones joke around; play with one another while facing childish every day troubles. We can feel the growing competition between these two groups. The main character of the story is the boy named Siger who belongs to a “Bell” Group. The childish curiosity leads the boy into a wide range of adventures, which are described in “No! No! Nursery school!”. The storybook consists of seven separate parts: “Kindergarten “Tulip” ”, “Whale Hunt”, “Tikotiana”, “Teddy Kogus”, “Wolf”, “Trip to the mountains”, and “No! No! Nursery school!“.

These stories are brightened up by the story about whale hunting, also Siger’s and his friend Tikotiana’s pranks in the kindergarten, as well as the story about a wicked wolf, a mysterious boy who lives in the woods and the boy’s time spent in a real nursery school, where Siger have learned the lessons of life. This storybook is illustrated by a significant artist Yuriko Omura. Although the pictures are black and white, each one of them is presented in a playful way. “No! No! Nursery school!’ stories and illustrations not only develop children’s imagination, but also subtly educate children, teach them moral values, which are especially rare in today’s children’s literature. Each story in this storybook is different from the one before it and has a didactic sense.

Rieko Nakagawa’s storybook “No! No! Nursery school!” is a source of moral and the world of spiritual values. This storybook not only develops a child’s imagination or educates them, but also teaches parents how to do it. Each situation in this storybook is similar to our daily lives in a metaphorical sense. Thus, the writer seeks to show that the elders must teach the children and allow them to make mistakes, because only mistakes are the best teachers of life.

The storybook “No! No! Nursery school!” is written by a Japanese writer Rieko Nakagawa. The main inspiration source for an author was her job as a teacher with pre-school children. During this part of her life she began writing stories for children, including the latter piece – “No! No! Nursery school!”. This storybook won a Sankei Children’s Book Award and the Noma Prize for New Writers of Children\’s Literature.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU