Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


Why Is Japan Obsessed With Bizarre Mascots?

Besides anime and cherry blossoms, Japan is also known for having a lot of mascots. From a human jacuzzi faucet, to a boxing rabbit, to a fruit-bear hybrid, Japan knows no bounds when it comes to creating mascots from promoting companies or products. Every brand, prefecture, and local government has a mascot to represent them. Japanese mascots are made to blend in as a part of everyday life, as sbnation details: 

There’s Melon Kuma, a terrifying, tourism-promoting fruit-bear hybrid, and Colon-chan, a character with hot pink, intestine-shaped hair, who encourages colonoscopies.
This is the heart of “yuru-chara,” the championing of mascots as part of everyday life. Japanese artist Jun Miura is widely credited with coining the term in 2009, outlining three fundamental components of a yuru-chara mascot:
It must convey a strong message of love for one’s hometown.
Its movements should be unique and unstable or awkward.
It should be unsophisticated or laid-back and lovable.
It’s a recipe that works for a Japanese audience, a mixture of regional loyalty and self-deprecation in a place where celebration of the absurd flourishes. Though reverence for non-human characters can be traced back to the cultural impact of Kami, the spirits which form the foundation of the polytheistic Shinto religion, the recent proliferation of yuru-chara began in 2007 with Hikonyan, a samurai cat created by the Hikone city government to mark the 400th anniversary of Hikone Castle. The mascot wasn’t just popular — it was a phenomenon. People flocked to see Hikonyan, generating more than $200 million in tourism spending. Other cities took note, hoping to replicate Hikone’s success with mascots of their own. Brands and businesses followed suit.

image via sbnation

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Why Is Japan Obsessed With Bizarre Mascots?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More