Japanese author of 'Totto-chan' attends China event to mark sequel publication

The Japanese writer of a memoir that became a bestseller in China has expressed hope that her book will foster mutual understanding between people of both countries.

Actor and TV personality Kuroyanagi Tetsuko attended an event in Beijing on Thursday to commemorate the publication in China earlier this month of a Chinese version of a sequel to "Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window."

The original autobiography first came out in Japan in 1981. It tells of Kuroyanagi's memories of her life at a Tokyo school, to which she transferred as a first grader.

Roughly 26 million copies of the book have been printed, with 65 percent of them published in China. The story also appeared as a textbook material in the country.

The 90-year-old author said she penned what she found interesting and that the content may have reverberated more among Chinese than among Japanese.

She added she was surprised that the Chinese sequel hit bookstores less than eight months after its Japanese version became available.

A Chinese reader told the author that her book has taught reading is fun. Another said reading "Totto-chan" was a life-changing experience.