Sentaku Kaachan / Sentakukaachan (Washing-Crazy Ma) せんたくかあちゃん

1970s or earlier

Author : Wakiko Sato  さとうわきこ

Published : 1978

Personal recommendation : 5 years old and up

This is quite old classic book but it is actually still very fun story to read.  However before reading, the adults should teach a few historical and cultural background to enjoy this book fully. 

  1. Washtub/Laundry tub and washing board :  Several decades ago, though many were using laundry machine, some were still using traditional wash-tub and washing board manually to do the laundry. The Washing-Crazy mother in this story uses those tub/board.
  2. Myth about Little demon of thunder:  In Japan, there has been superstition that “If you don’t hide your belly button during thunder, the little demon of thunder (=the collector of belly bottoms) would take away your belly button.

If you get above two points, you are ready to enjoy the book 100%!

Story begins with as follows.  There was a mother named Washing-Crazy Ma who loves washing everything.  On sunny day, she was doing the washing by tub/board outside but she wanted to wash more, he asked her children to collect all those washable items.  Kids rush to search all the items from clothes to shoes to umbrella to even living things like dog/cat/ducks chick/mice.   While waiting, he has hung lots of laundry ropes under the trees in the forest and hang them after washing to dry out. 

From the sky above the firest,  the little demon of thunder found those laundry/animals being dried out and thought there should be lots of people with belly bottoms in that forest.  He made the thunder rumbling and made heavy rain and try to descent. Yet, the little demon got entrapped with spider-web like laundry rope and got stuck.   Mother wanted to give the demon a lesson (=punishment of his mischiefs) decided to wash the demon as well and hang onto the rope to dry out.  

Next day, because of her professional washing skill, demon became very clean, actually way too clean and his face parts like eyes/nose/mouth were taken off.  To make it up Demon’s feeling, mother’s kids decided to draw face parts and it turned out Demon’s face got more handsome than before.  Feeling happier, demon went back home and Washing Crazy Ma’s normal life began again. 

One day, she heard many thunder rumbling while washing and looked up the cloudy sky and realized numerous little demons of thunder falling from sky. Each demon was screaming “Please wash me and give a good set of face parts for better-looking!)   End of story.

Well, I am not 100% sure that to have good-looking is not individual’s priority but all the serious argument aside (=remember this was published in 70’s), this book’s storyline is quite well-written and kids should simply be able to enjoy it beyond the generation.  

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら

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