Sunday 19 May 2013

The Inland Revenue’s ‘Hector’ Was Tame In Comparison…

… the yuru kyara, or loose characters – a nationwide fraternity of about 1,000 different mascots who provide a touch of whimsy to the serious business of collecting taxes and saving the environment, to promoting tourist spots and regional cuisine.
Prince Pickles is animated face of Japan's self-defence forces, while Pipo-kun represents the Tokyo metropolitan police. Eeta-kun, whose head resembles a computer screen, encourages people to file their tax returns online.
Well, he’s better than 'Hector' or even Moira Stewart, I suppose!
Spare a thought for Pluto-kun, or Little Mr Pluto, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan's nuclear industry.
Spare a thought for Sento-kun, who made his debut in 2008 as the "personification of the energy" of the ancient capital of Nara as it prepared to celebrate its 1,300th anniversary. But his shaved head, topped with a pair of antlers – apropos of the city's Buddhist tradition and large deer population – lent him an appearance that was widely denounced as the stuff of childhood nightmares.
For all his clever cultural references, Sento-kun was guilty of the most serious crime in the Japanese mascot world: he simply wasn't cute.
Well, I don’t know about that. He’s rather like a chubby, oriental Herne The Hunter!

But then, as Pavlov’s Cat will tell you, mascots in Japan can be rather...odd! The kids got lucky with just antlers...


Pavlov's Cat said...

Ta for the link , yes they can be very strange (to us that is)

DavefromTacoma said...

More strangeness from Japan:

A watermelon stroller.

Confused? Click the link.

JuliaM said...

"yes they can be very strange (to us that is)"

They no doubt think us just as odd!

"A watermelon stroller. "

I admire the inventiveness, but even my appetite for 'use once in a blue moon gadgets' baulks at that!