Nichijou – My Ordinary Life’s Keiichi Arawi Illustrates Music Textbooks for Kids – Interest

Japanese parents used to say reading manga makes you stupid — now Japanese kids will enjoy manga art in music class


Textbooks, the bane of every student in the world. But if there’s one saving grace, it’s the illustrations. Starting in April, students in Japanese elementary schools will find some new artwork in their music textbooks — drawn by the creator of Nichijou – My Ordinary Life, Keiichi Arawi.

Image via twitter.com

Announced on Arawi’s X (formerly Twitter) account in April 2023, Arawi noted how he had done the artwork for new textbooks that start hitting desks in April 2024. The textbooks issued by Kyoiku-Geijutsusha cover music classes for first through sixth grade.


I was in charge of the cover and character illustrations
for the Reiwa 6 [2024] edition elementary school music textbook,
\“Music for Elementary School Students” (Kyoiku Geijutsusha).
It is scheduled to be used in elementary schools from April 2024.
Thank you.

While Kyoiku-Geijutsusha homepage doesn’t go into detail about Arawi’s artwork, there is a section detailing the themes of the covers for each grade level. Starting with first grade the theme is “Enjoy your first music class.” From there the themes are, “Enjoy listening to various sounds and music,” “Let’s play while feeling the fun and beauty of music,” “Let’s connect to music using digital devices,” “Enjoy the beauty of music with your eyes and ears,” and in sixth grade, “Let’s share our musical experiences together.”

A video on the company’s YouTube channel also introduces the changes made to the music textbooks, including the eight characters seen throughout the instructional material. While not the same characters seen in Arawi’s manga Nichijou – My Ordinary Life, you can definitely see his style in the designs.


This isn’t the first time an established manga creator has drawn for instructional material. But, this is the first time, at least this writer has heard of, a manga creator has drawn for a textbook that will potentially be used by thousands of students in Japan. And surprisingly Arawi’s art style fits what you’d see in many other elementary school textbooks. While we may not be able to purchase the music textbooks, we can explore samples on the Kyoiku-Geijutsusha homepage. So, if you want to check out Arawi’s work in a music textbook, now’s your chance.

Sources: Keiichi Arawi‘s X/Twitter account, Kyoiku-Geijutsusha’s website (link 2) & YouTube channel via Otakomu.com