Thursday, May 3, 2018

Yuru-chara, Japanese Mascots

I think every prefecture, region, city, event, and organization in Japan has a cute mascot associated with it.  Every year there is a contest, called the Yuru-chara Grand Prix to decide the cutest mascot of the year.  

2010169Hikonyan (Hikone, Shiga)
2011349Kumamon (Kumamoto Prefecture)
2012865Barysan (ja) (Imabari, Ehime)
20131,580Sanomaru (ja) (Sano, Tochigi)
20141,699Gunma-chan (ja) (Gunma Prefecture)
20151,727Shusse Daimyō Ieyasu-kun (ja) (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka)
20161,421Shinjou-kun (ja) (Susaki, Kōchi)
20171,158Unari-kun (ja) (Narita, Chiba)

Many mascots are even famous outside of Japan.  Are there any you like?

Here are a few of my favorites. 

Kumamon from Kumamoto  

Hikonyan from Hikone Castle (nyan is the sound cats make in Japan - like meow in English)

Domo-kun from NHK Television

Meron Kuma (Melon Bear)

Gudetama, the lazy egg

There are quite a few just plain weird ones. 


Marimokkori from Hokkaido

Sento-kun from Nara

Do you recognize any?


kiwikid said...

No I don't recognise any Pamela, I was going to say they are really cute until I saw the ones with the teeth!!

Miranda said...

"Domo-kun from NHK Television" looks familiar to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela no i dont know any of these mascots,dont know of any here in Aussie either,lol,my grandies play alot of sport and no mascots there either,hmmm but i am sure there would be somewhere,lol,must keep my eyes open for them xx

Merlynn said...

I know Domo-kun !!! But pretty sure I've seen Kumamon and Gudetama before :)

Queeniepatch said...

I know about half of them. Kumamon is my favorite.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

OMGosh this is so funny!! I'm loving the Domo-kun from NHK Television mascot. The Japanese must have a great sense of humor. I die laughing when there is a special on TV about commercials from other countries. Japanese commercials are the BEST.
xx, Carol

Vireya said...

I've seen Domo-kun and Gudetama before. But I couldn't have told you their names.

The mascots are an interesting combination of cute and weird.

Leonore Winterer said...

I think Kumamon is a little creepy, but that might be because he reminds me of Monokuma, a very creepy teddy bear from a video game I played! Even the names sound similar.
I saw a lot of Gudetama merchandise in a bookstore on vacation and wasn't sure whether to find it weird or cute, as is the case with many of those mascots. Barysan and Sanomaru are definitely on the cute side, though!

D1-D2 said...

I recognize Domo-kun and the lazy egg. I've seen a lot of merchandise with them on it. I think there is even a lazy egg themed cafe either in the US or Japan.