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What is Danbo?: Brief History of the Popular Corrugated Cardboard Robot

By on January 21, 2012 — Updated on June 2, 2012

Danbois a short word for “danboru”, the Japanese word for corrugated cardboard. Its getting popular on Flickr and photo blogs. I am sorry but I do not know how to write the word in Japanese writing system.

Danbo, the robot out of cardboard boxes that is now popular subject of digital photography, is a character from a comedy manga series by Kiyohiko Azuma entitled Yotsuba&!, read as “Yotsuba to” which means “Yotsuba and”.

Danbo first appeared in Chapter 28 – Yotsuba & Danbo of the said Japanese cartoon series (you can read this chapter here in English) where Yotsuba’s friend Ena tried to convince her that Miura’s costume out of cardboard boxes is a real robot that is powered by money inserted into the slot on the chest.

Yotsuba believes that the robot is real, and Ena refuses to let Miura crush her dreams by telling her the truth. It was Miura who named the cardboard robot Danbo.

what is danbo

Yotsuba&! depicts the everyday adventures of a young girl named Yotsuba as she learns about the world around her, guided by her father, the neighbors, and their friends. She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them are doorbells, escalators, air conditioners, and even playground swings. This naiveté is the premise of humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things.

25 August 2006 is the story time of Yotsuba & Danbo in Japanese.

Danbo is also known online as Danboard, Danboru, Danbooru and Cardbo, but according to JuYoun Lee, Senior Editor at Yen Press said that “Danbo” sounds cuter than “Cardbo” in an interview.

It’s simplicity, easy to create, innocent facial expression and cuteness is what I think make Danbo popular on Flickr and blogs.


Recommended resources:

Danbo photo by Chris J Bowley via Flickr

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  1. carmel

    June 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Hello Danbo! So I finally learned about you. :-) A recent post made me curious to check out the details behind the cute cardboard character.
    I invite you to read: Weekend breaksMy Profile

  2. tatess

    June 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Danbo, new word to me and new information. Now I know who is Danbo and his photo is not an stranger anymore. He has a name after all. thanks
    I invite you to read: Accents Fashion Accessories + Another GiveawayMy Profile

  3. nurdin nurung

    December 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

    oh..I see now..what danbo 😀
    I invite you to read: easy photoshop smoke tutorial effectMy Profile

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