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Benesse Corporation’s Shimajiro wins second major Asian preschool TV award

Benesse Corporation’s Shimajiro wins second major Asian preschool TV award

Image © Benesse Corporation 1988-2024 / Shimajiro

Benesse Corporation, the Japanese education services company and the name behind the enormously successful preschool educational correspondence course Kodomo Challenge – and its animated star Shimajiro – has announced that an episode of its long-running series Shimajiro: A World of WOW! has been honoured at the 28th Asian Television Awards.

The episode, Shimajiro: A World of WOW! – Biodiversity won the Best Preschool Programme category.

The award is a major boost for awareness of the show, its fast-growing licensing programme and the company’s educational work at a time when Benesse is expanding its education services offering.

Benesse Corporation received its award at a ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 12 January.

This is the second time in recent years that Benesse Corporation has received one of Asia’s top TV accolades for preschool programming. Shimajiro: A World of WOW was also the award-winner in 2018 and has been honoured with more than 20 prestigious programming awards and nominations in the past ten years.

Skilfully combining animation and live action, Shimajiro: A World of WOW!, focuses on the ‘wow’ factor of our natural environment, encouraging young children to explore the wider world. It spotlights the wonders of nature on Earth and our own relationship and involvement with it.

The award-winning episode, aired in October 2022, focuses on biodiversity. It features an animated segment in which the young star Shimajiro and his family search for the endangered Japanese giant salamander. There’s also a fun live-action ecology segment, and a song about the kissing loach, a type of Japanese ray-finned fish that is also an endangered species.

The episode highlights the importance of protecting creatures affected by development and the need to foster coexistence. Its aims are to spark parent-child conversations, to encourage children to think and act independently and to do so in an entertaining way – in which, judging from this major award, it has succeeded!

The popular preschool educational series is co-produced with Okayama-based TV station TV Setouchi, with live-action production from multi-skilled production experts DASH Co Ltd and animation production from celebrated animation group The Answer Studio Ltd.

Shimajiro: A World of WOW! continues three decades ofShimajiro success; he has starred in his own TV show since 1993. In each episode, young Shimajiro learns skills that help him in his everyday life as a preschooler. The programme has evolved from animated shorts to a thirty-minute hybrid format of animation and live-action broadcast.

As of April 2023, the show is being viewed by millions of fans on multiple platforms in Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia as well as on Netflix across Asia and in English-speaking markets around the world via a special YouTube channel ( Shimajiro is a trusted entertainment and education brand that has also inspired a successful range of licensed children’s products.

Japan’s most popular character in children’s education also supports, and is an integral part of, Kodomo Challenge, Benesse Corporation’s flagship preschool educational correspondence course and is now, like the show, expanding into key markets in East Asia.

Kodomo Challenge provides children with opportunities to learn about life and daily habits. Like Shimajiro: A World of WOW!, Kodomo Challenge conveys the importance of biodiversity and environmental conservation both to parents and to their children, the future guardians of our planet.

Now in its 28th year, the Asian Television Awards is Asia’s largest international television awards event. The awards are presented to outstanding programmes from over 1,000 entries in 40 categories from across Asia, judged by a panel of 60 experts.

Akinori Tazume, Director of Global Kodomo Challenge Division, says: “We are enormously proud of Shimajiro: A World of WOW! and the role it plays in educating and entertaining Japan’s children. This award will further boost awareness of a very popular show and character along with the Kodomo Challenge from which it gains its inspiration. Our thanks to the Asian Television Awards and Shimajiro’s millions of fans for making this award a reality.”

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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