A Hashimoto-San Comic Book featuring Hashimoto-san, Dinky Duck and Deputy Dawg

Hashimoto-1-.jpg

Hashimoto-san is a Japanese mouse, created by Bob Kuwahara for the Terrytoons animation company.

The first cartoon in the series, Hashimoto-san, was a seven-minute short released theatrically on September 6, 1959. The 17th and last cartoon, Spooki-Yaki, was released on November 13, 1963.

However, in the series, there were some stereotypes. For instance, he is a Judo master but never used it to hurt anyone. Today, this could be seen as a stereotype but back then, it was unexpected. In the series Hashimoto frequently told stories about Japan to a BFF named Joey. Hashimoto is an expert in judo, and he has a wife (Hanako; age 11), a son (Saburo; age 4), and a daughter (Yuriko; age 4).

Hashimoto and the other characters in the series were voiced by John Myhers, and Joey is voiced by MacKennon. All of the shorts were directed by Kuwahara. Bob Kuwahara had an intimate knowledge of Hashimoto's culture through his own family ties.[1]

Between 1965, 1967, and 1963, the shorts were incorporated into The Astronut Show as part of CBS's Saturday morning cartoon lineup and The Hector Heathcote Show as part of NBC's saturday morning cartoon lineup. During 1963 Hashimoto had his own board game, and also appeared in a handful of comic books published by Gold Key Comics; always with other Terrytoon characters like Deputy Dawg or Hector Heathcote.

Since it was common to portray Japanese and other Asians as houseboys or manservants (or worse) in American cartoons prior to the Hashimoto-san series, Hashimoto-san the Japanese Mouse is today regarded as having perhaps been the first positive characterization of an Asian character in American animation.

To date the Hashimoto-san series has not been released on DVD, though a bootleg DVD is available containing 12 of the 17 episodes.

Hashimoto-san - by then middle-aged - made a cameo appearance in the episode "The Ice Goose Cometh" in the 1980s CBS cartoon Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, where he serves Gandy Goose japanese food with a worm (who gets disgusted and is eventually not hungry), and tells him that his restaurant doesn't take plain money. He eventually kicks Gandy out of his restaurant.

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