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The Background of Chama Tama

Here is a brief explanation about the historical background and the general flow of the story.
As this is a manga on Japan, you might get a better understanding if you read this article beforehand.

The story takes place in Tokyo a few years from now, and the main characters are two girls and a guy.

These two girls are shinobi, in another word ninja - people who have disppeared into the shadows of the past.
Why, then, do these shinobi exist today?

The answer cannot be found in the limelight of history.
Ninja are always the shadow --- always.
They only exist in the other side of history.

With the beginning of Meiji Period (1868) Japan had experienced a dramatic change politically, socially and historically. The 300-year-long reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate was overthrown, the country was opened and was exposed to the ideas of the West. Amazing, fascinating, exotic materials and ideas spread throughout the country quickly.
Fearing that the spread of Western ideas will completely take over Nippon, the Cabinet at that time secretly decided on gathering some people with Nippon values in a remote hidden mountain village. This was the beginning of the Shinobi Village, a community of kokoro - human's power of heart and mind.

Kokoro, until then, was everything to Japanese people. It was the core spirit for all ideas, from manner, virtue, ethics, respect to beauty... it was "the way".
Several ideas still remain rather weakly in present day Japan. Anything that has to do with "do", like a variety of budo (judo, kendo, kyudo, aikido, etc.) as well as kado (flower arrangement) and sado (tea ceremony) are those which retain the mentality of the long history of Japan.
But the age when people can develop one's kokoro without having to have to be taught in such manner had ended 140 years ago.

Under the slogans of "Escape Asia, Enter Europe" and "Prosperous Nation, Strong Army" the westernization in Japan sped up to the point it cannot be stopped.
That way was also the way of militarism.
Catch up with the West, get ahead of the West.
Before anyone knew, all Japan was striving for was nothing but a chain of war after war.
And then of course, Japan experiences a major defeat in WWII. Her position dropped from the strongest country in the Eastern Hemisphere to a miserably defeated nation. But before long, she once again crawled up to one of the leading countries of the world, this time as a major economic power enabled by the postwar economic boost.

Decades later, early 21st century.
JAPAN was enjoying an age that could not be more peaceful... that is to say, outwardly.
Peace was supported by a very fragile base, for what was there behind the scene were money-mind-controlled people drowned in materialistic greed.
JAPANese had forgotten respect for kokoro: parents could no longer discipline their children, and children did not know such things as respect, appreciation or responsibility.
An IT-billionaire once said, "There is nothing I can't buy with money."

Who made Japan like this!?

Who wanted Japan like this!?

The Prime Minister who suddenly sensed something dark moving below water, decides to ask the Shinobi Village and the long-sealed power of Kokoro for help.
An agent from "modern" Japan is sent to the Village, his name, Dorimaru.
Two girls await him at the Village, their names, Chama and Tama.

The future of Japan are in their hands.

Can they rescue Japan? Will the time for JAPANese to realize the power of kokoro come again!?

Spirited Away (2001)
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Yasunari Kawabata
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Inazo Nitobe
  • Japanese Tea
  • Bonsai
  • VAIO
  • Canon

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