This is a story of a dramatic event that happened to a boy named Harukichi one warm afternoon in autumn. The story is set in rural Japan in the 1930's.
Harukichi goes to a small school in a small village, and there are a lot of things about this village that Harukichi doesn't like. Sometimes Harukichi is embarrassed by the way his classmates behave. One day a new teacher named Mr. Fuji arrives from the big city and he leaves an immediate impression on Harukichi because he seems really sophisticated. Another interesting character who appears in this story is Ishitaro. Ishitaro is not like any normal child. He likes to fart. A lot. But Ishitaro has something that Harukichi doesn't. Can you work out what it is?
And the moral of the story is...
A key feature of Niimi's writing is his ability to create intriguing moral dilemmas for his characters. This story is about that moment in a child's life when they realize that the choice between right and wrong is not always so black and white. It is an intriguing story about one child's inner battle between honesty and survival. It is about living with integrity. Now you wouldn't think all of that could be contained in a story with the title of The Fart, would you?
This story would be difficult for small children but it can be enjoyed by teenagers and adults.
This version also contains a bonus story of The Restaurant of Many Orders by Kenji Miyazawa.
Nankichi Niimi was born Shohachi Watanabe in what is now Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, on July 30, 1913, with the year 2013 marking 100 years since his birth. Gon the Fox is studied by every Japanese child in elementary school and it was recently estimated that over 60 million people have read this story, which he wrote at just 18 years of age. Although Niimi went on to write a large number of poems and short stories, such as Buying Mittens, Grandpa's Lamp and When the Thieves Came to Hananoki Village before his death from tuberculosis at age 29, Gon the Fox is undoubtedly the most famous and well-loved of all his works, and perhaps the most famous Japanese children's story of all time.