Are ‘we’ a mountain or a tapeworm?


Yamao, a mascot for Kyoiku University in Osaka, is based on a mountain near the campus. mondo-mascots
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 3, 2019


Yuumi-chama, the patron goddess of the 3Yen writes:
A little known fact about the mascot Yamao-kun (やまおくん) is that before the Meguro Parasitological Museum‘s endowment funding problems*, he used to be their tapeworm mascot Sanadomushi/サナダムシ (L), even though now he claims to be “based on a mountain.”


サナダムシ マスコットキャラクター

Also check out our previous post, Tomoko, the 70 year old tapeworm (3Yen | 2016-04-10) who’s still going strong.



tokyonama-texitle-logo-2Tokyonama, importer/distributer of original products from Japan–Geneva/Tokyo

Pounding in the New Year

Loose-character/ユルキャラジゲン/Yurukyara mascot of fame, Kumamon the marvelous, is pounding in the New Year.


Mochi/rice cakes (鏡餅 — Wikipedia) are a traditional Japanese New Year decoration consisting of two rounded mochi (pounded rice), the smaller placed atop the larger.
kagamimochi-realKagami mochi is usually placed in a household Shinto altar (see right), or kamidana in the tokonoma, a small decorated alcove in the main room of the home.

Nowadays people skip all the pounding and go to the store to buy mochi/rice cakes. These cakes are often pre-moulded into the shape of stacked discs, made in plastic packages for the mass market, and sold as a holiday decoration much like a plastic Christmas wreath.

Our previous reports of mochi rice cakes include:


Leftover Japanese Christmas cake

After a long and tiring Christmas day, Kumamon the mascot woke up from fitful sleep the next morning on Boxing Day. He was dreaming of eating leftover Japanese Christmas cake*

It was his mattress.


Translated from Japanese by Microsoft
‵‵I’ll do it today! You’re going to be alright, mon 〜☆.′′

180px-Strawberry_shortcake4 *Kurisumasu keki (クリスマスケーキ), Japanese Christmas cake, is an industrial sponge cake made many months before in the late summer and fall and deeply refrigerated. Then the week before Christmas, it’s layered with engineered whipped cream (seroprotein, caseinate, sugar, lecithin, modified starch, etc.), studded with beautiful-but-tasteless hothouse strawberries, and decorated with tiny, plastic, Xmas figurines and gimcrack.



“Duck”? It’s possible, perhaps.

At home, the Japanese Christmas goose should be going in the oven now. It’s a Japanese “goose” that could be large, mislabeled, Muscovy duck rather than a goose because Japanese often confuse the two…鴨しれない。*

*Pun on the word “duck.” Normally, the Japanese word for duck is kamo /鴨. However, in the phrase かもしれない/かも “Kamo shirenai” it means “It’s possible, perhaps.”

Tokyo Twink-eeee!

My friends were joking around about TOKYO BANANA, the city’s oddly mysterious but highly popular souvenir confection—Tokyo is not known for tropical fruits and certainly does not grow bananas.

A little known fact is that before the Tokyo Banana’s introduction in 1987, the stinky ”ginnan“/ぎんなん/ginkgo nut was used for the city’s confection souvenir with the TOKYO TWINK®* name and mascot.
150px-PrefSymbol-Tokyo.svg ← The ginnan happa/ginkgo leaf (L) serves as Metropolitan Tokyo’s official symbol so stinky ginnan nuts were the perfect ingredient for TOKYO TWINK® unlike Tokyo’s current inexplicable choice of bananas for a seemingly random and incongruous souvenir (3Yen / 2015-04-24) gift item.
A few of our previous reports that are oddly related to Tokyo Twink-eeees include:




tokyonama-texitle-logo-2Tokyonama, importer/distributer of original products from Japan–Geneva/Tokyo

Kitanosaurus Khristmas?




kitanosaurus_kita_shi This kracked Khristmas Kitanosaurus statue popped up in my Twitter feed today and it got me wondering what as the meaning of the strange statue in the Osaka subway and if it had a backstory.

I googled “Kitanosaurus” since I’m not not very familiar with Osaka and I discovered that there were plenty of photos of the beastie but no information in English* about the statue except its location in JR Kita-Shinchi Station.
It turns out that the キタノザウルス aka “Kitano Zaurus” was installed in June 23, 1997 by the Osaka Advertising Association with the wish it would become a meeting place. The idea is that the Japanese word “Kitano” means ‘Northside.’

It also turns out there is a “Kitano Zaurus Legend
Long ago and far away, far away in the Jurassic period there lived a monster daughter called “Kitano.” One day she came to the beach in Osaka Kitano, carrying a rice packed in rice straw bundle on her back to meet with her friend. However, the friend not come as promised. Kitanosaurus waited for long time and finally fell asleep.
Finally on June 23, 1997, when someone tickled her, Kitanosaurus woke up for a long, long sleep while saying, “…Has he come yet?”


And that is the secret of Kitanosaurus’ feet.
There is a heart mark on the sole of the right foot and on the sole of the left foot is written the instruction to, “Touch me for good luck.

icon kitasaurus
However, as the last laugh on the Osaka Advertising Association’s promotional efforts, the Kitanosaurus has a reputation of being, “The meeting place nobody knows*.” Even Kunio Sato, the creator of Kitanosaurus says, “There aren’t any people there, so anyone who waits there can be found immediately.”

Killer Kumamon, and his ninja rose shuriken

くまモン kumamon writes:

You can also see if you dream. Oh Bear!〜☆


Japan’s zany mascot, Kumamon the bear, is acting deadly with his rose shuriken—the throwing dart of super-secret ninja of the barazoku/薔薇族—the Rose Tribe (urbandictionary).

According to Wikipedia, there are many varieties of shuriken —known in the West as ‘throwing stars.’ Ninja Kumamon is shown with his bō shuriken (棒手裏剣, stick shuriken).

Bō shuriken can be constructed from a wide variety of everyday items, hence there were many shapes and sizes. Some derived their names from the materials of which they were made, such as kugi-gata (nail form), hari-gata (needle form) and bara-gata (rose form), ha, ha.
Previous 3Yen reports of killer Kumamon’s antics include:
   • Kumamon did it! (3Yen / 2014-04-13)
   • Kumamon gets crazier (3Yen / 2013-07-07)
   • Panic disordered characters in the kitchen (3Yen / 2012-11-04)
panic disordered character in the kitchen..



Be bear—Be careful

Be bear! Be careful everybody, mon!〜☆
(The bear mascot, Kumamon, revels in Tokyo’s Yamamote Line’s priority Bariatric Seating for three persons.)

Our previous reports from the seat of power of Kumamon, include:



Kumamon’s surprise

Kabuto-zuka Kumamon was surprised to wake up this fine morning in a wooden coffin being placed in his special burial MON/モン〜! (円墳)


Just a few of our many previous reports of Kumamon’s antics include:


The Kumamon’s Thanksgiving has so much to thank Cthulhu for, モーン☆〜!

Goofy Google Translate:
‵‵Bear〜! I’m going to be fine today!′′




tokyonama-texitle-logo-2Tokyonama, importer/distributer of original products from Japan–Geneva/Tokyo