[[caption-width-right:300:The titular character, Sazae Fuguta.]]
An ancient Japanese comic strip that dates back to 1946 and, perhaps more notably, holds the world record for the longest running animated series of all time — new ''Sazae-san'' episodes have been airing since October 5, 1969, making it a pop culture staple of Japan. It almost always has higher TV ratings in Japan than any other anime (and even most other TV shows ''period''), and by a significant margin. Airings of ''Sazae-san'' in its Sunday evening timeslot regularly have viewership numbering over a tenth of the entire Japanese population. In other words, it's a pretty big deal. Despite this, it is not very well known outside of its home country (hence, the lonely singular block of text). The series centers around Sazae Fuguta, a somewhat typical Japanese housewife with very young siblings. Each episode of the anime is made up of three self-contained stories. It focuses on aspects of traditional Japanese daily life and culture, and hearkens back to an earlier, simpler, less-rushed time (since both series are so old), and relies on a Japanese sensibility to appreciate. Hence, its popularity in Japan and obscurity everywhere else.
Compare it with ''ComicBook/LaFamiliaBurron'' in Mexico, which also deals with similar topics and also being a LongRunner.
!!Tropes associated with/seen in this series include:
** The animation style was much more cartoony in the ''very'' early episodes.
** The series (particularly the comic) happened to cover the period where "traditional" Japan was replaced by "Westernized" Japan. Early in the comic's run, most characters, including Sazae herself, wore traditional dress (kimonos, geta, etc). By the time the anime started over 20 years later, most characters had switched to wearing Western clothing.
* CursedWithAwesome: One strip is about a woman who's cursed with a husband who cares extremely little about their wedding anniversary. When she tells him it's their anniversary and he's forgotten about it, he just gives her some money to buy a gift, since he can't be bothered to go out and buy one himself. The awesome part is that since he never can remember the correct date, she can tell him it's their anniversary multiple times a year to get extra money, and he won't catch on.
* FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin: Subverted. One episode had characters reminiscing to events that happened in a very early episode, back when some of the characters had different voice actors. Rather than redub those scenes, they used it as is, complete with the original voices. It was REALLY noticeable. It should be noted there was a 40 year gap between the original episodes and the flashback.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: In order to get out of going to school, Katsu says he's got a stomach-ache. When everyone else shares some cake, he realizes that this wasn't a very good move.
* LipstickMark: Turns out to be from little sister playing with lipstick and wiping it off with the nearest cloth object, a married man's shirt.
** '''''The''''' animation example. It began in 1969 and still runs to this day, over 40 years later. Over 2,000 half-hour episodes have been made.
** The original manga was a long runner too, lasting 28 years (1946 to 1974).
* SeriousBusiness: When Sazae threatens to tell Masao the ending of the mystery novel he's reading, he ties her up and gags her to stop her.
* SliceOfLife: Helps to explain its popularity in Japan and obscurity everywhere else. The plethora of jokes about daily life in Japan aren't relatable outside of Japan.
* ThemeNaming: Most of the major characters are named after seafood, reflecting the time period the strip was created in -- one of the aims of the creator was to hearken back to times of full stomachs. The series began in 1946, just after WorldWarTwo, when much of the population was still teetering on the brink of starvation.
* ThreeShorts: Since its first episode, the show has followed this format. Thus there's like 6,000 segments altogether.