Here's another great link I stumbled upon last night: Web Japan. Here's an excerpt: Web Japan is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and operated by a Japanese non government organization. With the exception of those rights possessed by third parties, MOFA retains all copyrights related to images, etc. as well as author’s personal rights for proprietary materials contained herein.
So no copying any pictures!! and posting them on blogs (ummmm guilty!). I may link to it from time to time though. Here's an article and comic strip about New Year's. I found it in the manga (comic) section of the kids page.
About manga. It's pretty common for corporations and government departments to present information in comic style. Even public service announcements.
It reminds me of this article about cuteness in Japanese culture, on Wikipedia. In particular the comment that cuteness can be considered a sign of an infantile mentality. I felt this way when I first arrived in Japan. Now more than a decade later I quite often find myself commenting on the cuteness of little characters in shops or businesses. What does that say about me? Worn done by years of exposure, influenced by my kids, or on the slippery slope to ...? I'm not sure but I know it doesn't bother me anymore that my ATM card has a picture of Snoopy on it.