Kaho Minami talks about her thoughts on “Dakko for Life
Interview with Kaho Minami on the occasion of the book's publication
For adults and children
Male or female, boy or girl.
Everyone has the right to cry.
These words resonate in our hearts.
It is a line from actress Kaho Minami’s first picture book, “Seibun no Dakko” (Kodansha Ltd.).
December 8 Published on December 8 What is Kaho Minami’s thought process behind the story, which is sure to move children and adults alike?
When I could no longer read to children
Reading picture books to children has been my life’s work. However, since I became a Corona employee, I can no longer visit nursery schools, kindergartens, and pediatric wards in person. When I was thinking about what I should do with ……, I remembered the draft of “Dakko for Life” that I had written some time ago. I reworked it and tried to read it to the children remotely, saying, “This is a picture book without pictures yet. Then I received a lot of feedback saying, “I really want you to make it into a picture book,” and “I want to hold her in my arms, too.
I thought this book was necessary because the term “social distance” has become widespread due to the COVID-19 crisis, and it is now difficult to have skin-to-skin contact with people, so I decided to release the book today.
What can I entrust to this child?
When I was raising my children, I used to read three books to them every night. My son, who loves picture books, would choose three books to read to me every night. While I was raising my son, I kept thinking, “What can I entrust to him?” “What will support him throughout his life when he grows up and becomes independent? I have not come to a conclusion, but I knew that the only thing I could think of was “how much love I gave him” and “how much I carried him when he was little.
During the middle of raising my children, I was so busy with work that my body was exhausted. My mind and body had reached their limits, and one day I cried a lot while eating dinner with my son. Then my son put down his chopsticks and came over to me and said, “Mom, it’s okay for adults to cry too. I had always told my son that it is okay for boys and girls to cry when they are sad, but his words saved my life at that time. That experience took the form of a picture book.
A world-class artist was used for the pictures.
I wanted to incorporate Mr. Dunkwell’s dynamic drawings into my picture book, so I offered to do so. I felt a sense of fantasy in his drawings, so I thought he would definitely be suited for a picture book. I was right! It has a playfulness that I had never seen in a picture book before, and it was the first time for both Mr. Dunkwell and myself to work on a picture book. That’s why I think the strength of this book is that it doesn’t “break” the rules of picture books, but rather “doesn’t bother” them. You can enjoy the pictures from perspectives that are not often seen in picture books. For example, in the scene where she is walking hand in hand with her favorite friend, you can’t see her facial expression, but that makes the scene more expressive. I am very satisfied with the drawings, which broaden the imagination of both the parents who read the book and the children who listen to it.
I hope to create opportunities to read “Dakko for a Lifetime” to many children.
To celebrate the publication of “Dakko for Life,” a mini talk and signing will be held at the Marunouchi Oazo Personal Lounge on Saturday, December 10, from 7:00 p.m.
Photographed by： Shinji Hamasaki