Japanese parents experience nostalgia as Nintendo console enters school textbooks

Global Voices Online
A Japanese Famicom (short for "Family Computer") video game console made by Nintendo.

News that the original Famicom Nintendo game console, first released in 1983, is now being taught in Japanese social studies class has sent a burst of joyful nostalgia throughout Japanese social media.

A post by Twitter user @moriteppei announcing the news received a stunning 32,000 retweets:

Nintendo 1

The original Nintendo game console occupies a special place in Japanese pop culture.

Nearly 62 million of the pioneering electronic gaming consoles, called Famicom in Japanese and marketed as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in English-speaking countries, were sold around the world until production ceased in 1993.

For many Japanese adults in their 40s who now have children of their own, the Famicom is a reminder of childhood during the optimistic, booming “bubble” years of the affluent 1980s.

Even before @moriteppei's popular Tweet last month, other Twitter users were noticing Famicom's addition to elementary school textbooks in April, at the start of the school year in Japan.

Kyoto-based Nintendo itself got its start in 1889 making playing cards for children. And while parents were nostalgic, they also had to confront the fact that their own childhood in 1980s Japan now looks, from the perspective a child in 2015, “like an ancient relic”:

But Twitter user @azemin sums up the moment from a more hopeful perspective:

A version of this story was cross-posted at Global Voices, a community of 1,200 bloggers and reporters worldwide. Readers, do you have a great Nintendo memory? Let us know in our comments section.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.