An-Pan Man: Language and culture in a Japanese children's cartoon

Debra Jane Occhi, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This thesis examines a Japanese children's fantasy story, An-Pan Man, an animated television cartoon. The cartoon employs stereotypical characterizations that are (a) defined by language use, especially politeness markers encoded in referents for self and other, and (b) exhibited through enacted nonverbal behavior. Since the episodic An-Pan Man story is directed toward a young audience, it can be considered as a presentation that models appropriate and inappropriate language and behavior to children through the media of popular culture. I present an interpretation of culturally specific identities established by language use through translation and interpretation of the cartoon assisted by native-speaker consultants.