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  • Japanese mascots are super cute, and they're everywhere!

  • Whether you're a local government agency, a bank, a shipping mall,

  • a tourist attraction, even a prison! You need a mascot.

  • Japanese mascots are called YURUCHARA in Japan.

  • This is the YURUCHARA Grand Prix

  • An event that determines which mascot is no.1 for the year.

  • The Grand Prix is held annually.

  • There are some general guidelines to be a YURUCHARA.

  • The character must convey a love for the local area or hometown.

  • Character movements or behavior should be unique, unstable or awkward.

  • They should be "yurui" meaning unsophisticated or laid back

  • and absolutely loveable.

  • In Asahikawa, in Hokkaido,

  • there is even a mascot for the prison.

  • Katakuri-chan uses the local mountain flower as a hat.

  • Visitors can buy Katakurichan goods.

  • Not sure about the inmates, though.

  • Awkward movements are a must.

  • So, if you are not sure what the mascots really is,

  • that's the point!

  • It's a YURU-CHARA

  • Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka is hosting this year's event.

  • Mascots from all over Japan are here.

  • Let's have a look around.

  • There are just too many YURU-CHARA to feature on this show.

  • So in the next minute, we're gonna feature as many as we can.

  • YURU-CHARA sumo wrestling

  • The Grand Prix this year featured a Sumo Wrestling competition,

  • with 8 entrants from around Japan.

  • Local pride is at stake.

  • With the naturally unusual movement and looks,

  • it's sure to be a real entertainment.

  • Enjoy.

  • Meet the YONEGEES family of YONAGO City of Tottori prefecture.

  • The Yonegee family's "YO" is named after Yonago City.

  • Yonago's mascots. This is Negita.

  • Negiko

  • and this here is Negipo

  • Little baby!

  • Negi, Japanese leeks are a famous produce from the area.

  • The Yonegees have their own Manga.

  • Every Yuru-chara needs an interesting back story.

  • The costume is powered by a small fan.

  • When the fans are off, the Negi stalks collapses.

  • That means it's time to go back to your day job.

  • If you're in Yonago, look for the Yonegees.

  • Meet Japan's biggest celebrity.

  • Who is it? Well, it's.....

  • Kumamon won the Yuru-Chara Grand Prix in 2011.

  • and since then has gone to be a symbol,

  • not only to Kumamoto prefecture, but Japan itself.

  • It's not hard to love this adorable bear who appeals to everyone.

  • Kumamon was born to help the expansion of the bullet train in 2010.

  • Kumamon can be used royalty free by produce producers in Kumamoto.

  • On rice.

  • On bamboo shoots.

  • On tomatoes.

  • but can be also licensed in other goods.

  • Kumamon is the king of Yuru-Chara.

  • and his celebrity status has resonated around Asia,

  • and now the world.

  • Representing Japan in everyone who simply needs a friend

  • Thanks, Kuma-mon.

  • Back at the Yuru-Chara Grand Prix,

  • he is this year's winner from Shizuoka.

  • Ieyasu-kun, who can also play Taiko Drums.

  • There are so many unique mascots here.

  • Pet licking another Mascot clean is Shimane's Shimanekko.

  • one of my favorites.

  • JInmen sekikun, or stone faced human.

  • is the well, the most creepy-ishly cute mascot

  • representing a island in Nagasaki Prefecture.

  • Embrace the unknown.

  • My favorite mascot this year was Nakanon

  • from Niigata prefecture's Nagaoka area.

  • I'm not entrely sure what Nakanon is,

  • other than a lotus root ferry who loves Koshi-hikari rice balls.

  • Unusual dance moves.

  • Absolutely awkward and totally original.

  • The variety of Japanese mascots are amazing.

  • There sure to be a character that attracts you.

  • So, how popular are Japanese mascots?

  • Since the event started in 2010,

  • The entry has boomed from 169,

  • to 1727 this year.

  • Is there room for more Yuru-Chara?

  • Why not?

  • Everyone loves a new smiling face.

  • So there you go.

  • That's as many Japanese Yuru-Chara mascots we can pack in one day...A lot.

  • Love them or hate them,

  • Japanese mascots are definitely original and...ONLYinJAPAN.

Japanese mascots are super cute, and they're everywhere!

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Japanese Mascots Unleashed: Guide to Japan's Yuru-chara ★ ONLY in JAPAN #42

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/31
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