Names of the Children, Japanese Title: "The Laughing Man"
The names of the children - including the Chief, Omba,and Hong (the tall boy who never speaks) - and the Japanese title are all references to the short story "The Laughing Man" by J.D. Salinger. In the short story, the protagonist belongs to an after-school group called The Comanche Club. They are chaperoned by a college student so they can play baseball, football, and other such activities around New York City. The student, though never named, is given the title of Chief by the boys. Besides the activities, the Chief tells the story of the Laughing Man to the boys. In the story, the Laughing Man lives deep in the forest with his young group of followers including Omba the dwarf and the "giant" named Hong, who cannot talk because he has no tongue.