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My Incredible Friend Animation
Based on Yukihiko Tajima’s picture book My Incredible Friend, this online learning platform features an animated adaptation of this heartwarming story. It cultivates the true meaning of friendship and motivates students to give their companions help and support in everyday life. The music is composed by Dr Chan Cheong-jan and performed by Sayuri Shirai, a musician with Down syndrome from Fukuoka, Japan.
Inspired by true events, Yukihiko Tajima’s My Incredible Friend was published in 2014. It recounts a story of autism, friendship and companionship that spans 20 years.
The protagonist, Yusuke Ota, moves home at a young age and enrolls in a new school, where he meets Koyasu. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Koyasu often mumbles to himself, and his behaviours are difficult to understand. From a first-person point of view, Yusuke narrates how he gets along and grows up with this incredible new friend. While words might fail them, as bosom buddies, they stand by one another no matter what.
The original book Fushigi Na Tomodachi by Yukihiko Tajima was published in Japanese in 2014 by Kumon Publishing. Humming Publishing published the translated Chinese edition in 2019.
The xylophone solo in the animation is performed by Sayuri Shirai, a marimba player with Down syndrome from Fukuoka, Japan. Shirai performed online at No Limits in 2020. She first encountered the marimba at the age of 11 before her musical talent was discovered. She cannot read musical notation or understand complex verbal instructions but can communicate and interact via music, play jazz, and improvise with other musicians.
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