| A book consisting five short stories; "Santa Gessekai" [Santa
on the Moon], "Santa Kappa Taiji" [Santa Goes on an Expedition
against Kappa], "Santa Hitodama Mondô" [Santa's Talk on
a Jack-o'-Lantern], "Santa Hanahagi Sensei no Yakyû" [Santa
and Mr. Hanahagi's Baseball], and "Santa Unagi Sôdô"
[Santa and an Eel]. |
These short stories first appeared in a magazine, Akatombo [Red Dragonfly], edited by Fujita Tamao. Just after publication this book was welcomed by many readers. In 1950, Tsutsui Keisuke put this into a radio drama. Santa and other child characters described humorously soon gained popularity of the listeners. Later it was also made into a stage drama and a movie.
The story is about Santa, a village boy living near Sagami Lake, his friends, and the adults around them. The children spent their lively days in a place full of nature. Adults watch them tenderly, as Aoki Shigeru (1897 - 1982) himself, who called Santa "my dearest brain child" in the preface.
A critic praise Santa Monogatari [A Story of a Boy Named Santa], the sequel to this book, for its lively tone is attractive, the sense of humor is original, and the character of Santa is as fresh and healthy as a young ayu fish in a river, while another complained that its humor is rather for adults than for children, and the story completely lacks the dark side of village life - oppressing feudalism in a village or a child's uneasy feeling toward the future.
Later Santa Buyû Den was serialized; (Shôsetsu) Santa Monogatari [A Story of a Boy Named Santa (A Novel)] (Kôbunsha, 1951), Santa no Nikki [Santa's Dairy] (Tsuru Shobô, 1955), Santa no Natsuyasumi [Santa's Summer Vacation] (Gakushû Kenkyûsha, 1970), Santa no Kosui Kyampu [Santa at a Camp on a Lake] (Gakushû Kenkyûsha, 1972), and so on. They are still enjoyed by child readers.