Sesame Workshop has a long history in East Asia and Oceania—and it’s as varied as these vast regions. Sesame’s presence in East Asia began with Big Bird’s historic visit to China in 1983 and has grown to include Mandarin-language Sesame Street specials, English-language schools in Japan and China, and much more. Millions of families have made happy Sesame Street memories in theme parks in Japan and Singapore, while PSA campaigns starring our trusted characters help keep children and families safe in the Philippines. Sesame Street has delighted generations of families in Australia, airing there continuously since 1972, and we’re currently expanding our social impact work in Oceania.
Families in China can connect with their favorite Sesame Street characters in a multitude of ways, from Sesame Street English schools for young language learners to live events for the whole family. During Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary celebration, fans visited immersive experiences in malls throughout mainland China and Hong Kong, enjoyed drum band parades, and even took part in life-sized board games. Through licensing and design collaborations, including 20+ Sesame Street retail stores throughout China, the brand is also making a fashion splash—and providing vital funding for Sesame Workshop’s social impact programs around the world.
Sesame Street is easy to spot across Japan, where Elmo and friends are providing comfort and learning to children in clinics and classrooms, enlivening attractions at theme parks, and bringing joy to families through fashion and lifestyle partnerships.
Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, which originated in the U.S., has resonated strongly in Japan. In partnership with the national government and advocacy organizations, Sesame Workshop is helping to launch Autism Awareness Day in a country with one of the largest populations of people with autism in the world. Julia, the lovable Sesame Street Muppet with autism, has appeared in primetime programming on NHK and in diversity and inclusion lessons taught in Japanese public schools.
To support kids and families through potentially stressful medical visits, Sesame Workshop has teamed up with healthcare providers to bring Elmo and friends into clinics around the country. Designed Sesame Street waiting room environments and resources help kids feel welcome and safe while visiting the doctor.
In public schools in Japan and China, our Sesame Street Curriculum helps prepare students for success by using a “whole child” approach. The curriculum includes our “Dream, Save, Do” program, which builds kids’ financial empowerment with games and activities geared to help them understand how everyday choices can help them achieve their dreams.
At more than 500 Sesame Street English schools operating in Japan, Greater China, and Vietnam, we offer children ages 3 through 18 a head start on English-language learning. And with the introduction of regional workshops and the Sesame Street Curriculum for schools, we’re bringing our educational expertise directly to young children and caregivers in school districts across Japan.
Sesame Workshop’s fresh and contemporary licensing partnerships help pave the way to impact, generating funding for Sesame Workshop’s critical social impact initiatives. In Korea, one of our lifestyle collaborations even made its runway debut in 2019 during Seoul Fashion Week, celebrating Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary with playful apparel for teen and adult fans.
Millions of theme park visitors interact with their favorite Sesame Street friends each year through rides, attractions, and rotating seasonal shows. Popular mall events and special promotions help share the magic of Sesame Street with children and families across the country.
In Manila, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird are helping kids learn traffic rules and the importance of road safety with fun and engaging activities and public service announcements. This three-year program also taps the power of Sesame Street to teach emergency preparedness and help children and families understand how to care for the environment.
Sesame Street has reached generations of Australian fans since the show debuted in the region in the 1970s. During the global celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary, the festivities in Australia included the first circus tour in Sesame history—an all-ages experience that combined beloved Sesame Street characters and songs with performances by international artists. Year-round, fans in Australia enjoy exhibits, shows, and activities at local malls, and new licensing partnerships bring our characters into millions of homes. With free tools and resources, new social impact initiatives are helping kids and families through difficult times like the recent bushfire crisis.
When you support Sesame Workshop, you’re making a positive difference in the lives of children around the world. Join us!