Nintendo and Japanese Fourth Graders

Last Friday I went to a Japanese elementary school with one of my classes to study the Japanese educational system, entertain the children by teacheing them how to draw an old manga character (Norimaki Senbei from Dr. Slump) and play dodge ball with them. During class time as I was demonstrating to the class how to draw the aforementioned character one of the children at my table yelled in my direction: “Can you draw Mario!? Do you know Mario!?” I answered that I did and the child seated in front of me noticed and chimed in “Wait, then- how about Yoshi, do you know Yoshi?” After another affirmative reply the original kid started to rattle off a list of Nintendo characters to see if I had heard of them, eventually resulting in his request for me to draw him a picture of Link from his favorite comic book “The Legend of Zelda. (All Nintendo characters have comic books in Japan)” It then occurred to me that Nintendo clearly has the Japanese child market covered- these kids are definitely not playing Halo.
To add icing to the cake I also saw a mother and child walking through a train station, the child with his DS in hand, and his mother follwing while keeping one eye on her child, and the other on her GBA.