“Mottainai” in Japanese generally means not making the most of something, leading to waste. It also means other things, attracting attention as a keyword for solving environmental problems.
The word “mottainai” left a deep impression on the late 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. This is because it not only stands for the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) but also “Respect” for the Earth’s irreplaceable blessings. This led to her efforts to spread the Japanese keyword “mottainai” across the world.
“What does mottainai mean?”
Mariko Shinju wrote the Japanese picture book “Mottainai Grandma” to answer this question her child asked her, with the main character being a grandma who conveys the heart of Mottainai.
She also wanted to express the value of “Respect” through the picture book, including gratitude for nature’s blessings and the people who made the things we love.
The “Mottainai Grandma Project” is part of the efforts of the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan to spread information regarding the importance of resources and the abundance of the environment across many generations, based on the idea of promoting the realization of a sustainable society.
The “Mottainai Grandma Project” is co-produced by the Ministry of the Environment and Kodansha, the Japanese publisher handling the best-selling picture book series “Mottainai Grandma.” The project aims to convey the importance and values behind “mottainai” and spread it across multiple generations worldwide.
To this end, all four books of Mariko Shinju’s “Mottainai Grandma” series have received dubbed animated adaptations available online for free in six different languages.
TOTO supports this project and will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by spreading “mottainai” spirit around the world.
Click here for the “Mottainai Grandma” Official Animation.