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Sanmao, China's favorite son turns 70
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-28 11:10

Three generations of Chinese children have grown up reading about the adventures of the country's most popular comic book hero. Michelle Zhang looks back over the life of Sanmao on the 70th anniversary of his "birth" today.

Sanmao has long been considered one of the best and most popular cartoon images among the Chinese cartoon fans. [baidu]

Just like Tintin with young Western fans of comic strip heroes, Sanmao - a happy-go-lucky resourceful boy with only three locks of hair - has been entertaining youthful Chinese readers from the day he was "born" 70 years ago today.

"Sanmao is perhaps the oldest Chinese cartoon character still alive today," says Zhang Rongrong, son of the famous late painter Zhang Leping (1910-92) who created Sanmao.

"Many of Sanmao's contemporaries, such as 'Mr Wang' and 'Miss Bee,' are no longer remembered by people. However, Sanmao still remains many people's favorite."

Sanmao, which means "three locks of hair" in Chinese, is traditionally a popular nickname for children, especially around the Yangtze Delta.

His cartoon image is known to all Chinese both at home and abroad. Sanmao is a resilient, innocent boy who always insists on having a child's perspective when dealing with the adult world.
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