Sesame’s relationship in East Asia began with Big Bird’s visit to China in 1983. In the decades since, our presence in the region has grown to include a Mandarin-language version of Sesame Street, language schools in Japan and China, and design partnerships that bring our characters into the lives of millions of kids. One highlight of this cultural exchange was our 2018 Lunar New Year special in which Elmo, Big Bird, and China’s Lily the Tiger met on Sesame Street in New York City to celebrate Chinese customs with fans on both sides of the Pacific.
Our Sesame Street Curriculum rolled out to Japanese public schools in 2018 to prepare students for success in academics and life with a “whole child” approach. At Sesame Street English schools, we offer children ages three to 18 a head start on English-language learning, with around 500 schools now operating in Greater China, Japan and Vietnam.
As a partner to Japan’s national government and advocacy organizations, Sesame Workshop is helping to launch Autism Awareness Day in a country with one of the highest incidences of autism in the world. Our lovable character Julia is the face of these awareness initiatives, appearing in a primetime TV show on NHK and in diversity and inclusion lessons taught in Japanese public schools.
Woven into the curriculum of Japanese elementary schools and available online to families across the region, our “Dream, Save, Do” program gives children a strong foundation for financial decision-making. Muppet-filled games and activities help kids as well as parents plan for the future they want and understand how everyday choices can help them achieve their dreams.
In a unique partnership with healthcare providers, Elmo and his lovable Sesame Street friends have an appointment in clinics across Japan where they’re part of a designed environment that makes kids feel welcome, happy, and safe when they go to the doctor.
Sesame’s characters are easy to spot across East Asia, enlivening attractions at Japan’s Universal Studios theme park and appearing in engaging exhibitions in Chinese malls to mark 50 years of Sesame Street in 2019. Through high-profile licensing and design collaborations, including a Sesame Street retail store in Shanghai, our brand is making a fashion splash and providing vital funding for our programs around the world.
When you support Sesame Workshop, you’re making a positive difference in the lives of children around the world. Join us!