Finding Their Jingle in Japan

Junior Jester Sophia Muratsuchi of Southern California presents the first copy of the bilingual English/Japanese “Jester” book to First Lady Akie Abe.

TOKYO — First Lady Akie Abe happily received the first copy of the just-released bilingual English/Japanese edition of “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle/Warai wo Nakushita Dokeshi Jester,” a classic American children’s book for 24 years.

Abe also joined in the presentation of 5,000 copies of the new edition to the Japanese Red Cross Society on Thursday. The charity will give the picture book to young patients and newborn babies cared for in Japanese Red Cross Society hospitals throughout the country.

South Bay “Junior Jester” Sophia Muratsuchi, daughter of Hiroko Higuchi and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, made the official presentation of the first book on Monday at a special ceremony at the prime minister’s official residence. Also attending were Ayako Higuchi, Sophia’s grandmother and president of the Tokyo Global Rotary Club, and Sophia’s mother, volunteer project coordinator for the nonprofit Jester & Pharley Phund of Southern California, which publishes the book.