In 2013, Mr. One Million, Hyakumansan, upset the residents of Ishikawa prefecture, whom he was supposed to represent, by being too ugly. Overdesigned. Not cute enough. Nearly a decade later, he’s still standing as the mascot of Ishikawa but what was all that hullabaloo about? Is he really as messy as they said he was? […]
Read More The Curious Case of Hyakumansan
After the Yuru-kyara Grand Prix this year, the magical mascot of Shiki won the first-place prize. That’s a city just a few stops up the Tobu Tojo line from my beloved Kawagoe, and it has gotten a lot of people talking about Saitama prefecture, mainly, how it has a reputation of being lame, full of […]
Read More Dasai! Is Saitama Lame?
Everywhere you go in Japan, you’re sure to stumble into a sign, poster, or merchandise with a cute character emblazoned on it. There seems to be a mascot arms race here in Japan and with good reason: The right mascot can bring prestige, popularity, and a boatload of money with it. Let’s take a look […]
Read More Japanese Mascots (Yuru-kyara)