Via the mega-funky Google Translation of Japan’s Sapporo Maruyama Zoo’s “Maruyaman”—The “mascot” zoo-keeper Sapporo Maruyama Zoo
■Born : Enya Minoru (Big round and Mitsuru)
■Age : 50 years
■Date of Birth: May 5th
■Occupation: Maruyama Zoo-keeper
■Specialty: Observation of animals so will not lose to any to escapes!
Mr. Enya Minoru (Rotund and Mitsuru) is just an average 50 year old man—a typical onjisan. He’s usually a quiet and handsome, but does love sequins and animals…And by the way he’s addicted to Japanese canned coffee after work.
Tokyo Stock Exchange unveils new mascot The Japan Times Online (Kyodo) | Feb. 23, 2011—The Tokyo Stock Exchange has unveiled its new mascot, Arrows-kun, to attract more young people and women to stock trading.
Arrows-kun (Arrows boy) is based on TSE Arrows, a TSE facility housing a revolving, ring-shaped electric bulletin board that shows current stock prices …more… twitter.com/tse_pr
In this case, Arrows-kun, the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s new ‘loose character’ even has his own Twitter at twitter.com/tse_pr as shown above.
Arrow-kunis only a day old and he already has his own “character goods” in the form of a keitai/cellphone strap shown on the right.
The whole idea of “Loose characters” was first promoted by the Japanese illustrator Jun Miura as masots having the following three aspects [Wikipedia Japan]:
. . . —Conveys a strong message of love of the locally.
. . . —Has a unique and lulzy posture of amateurism.
. . . —Combines much warmth, love, and looseness.
The rest-of-the-story is that Kobe Airport is built on an artificial island in the flight path of bankrupt Kansai International airport (KIX). Appartly the city fathers in Kobe were jealous of seeing neighboring Osaka’s KIX airport and decided they needed something bigger, more costly, and more useless. With landing fees three times higher than any place in Japan (Japan already has the world’s highest fees), there no hope the Kobe airport will ever turn a profit without the superheroes, sheesh.
Mascots battle for supremacy over Tokyo’s new “Sky Tree” tower!
As reported before*, everything in Japan, has to have its own tacky-cutesy mascot. In this case, Tokyo’s new TV tower, the “Sky Tree, the highest structure in the city (3Yen /2010-04-15) first had a mascot, “Oshinari-kun” (3Yen / 2010-10-20) created by the neighborhood mechant’s association.
Now the “Sky Tree” TV tower’s owner has come up with competing cutesy mascot, “Sorakara-chan.”
Tokyo Sky Tree’s mascot Sorakara-chan unveiled to media - The Mainichi Daily News
….Sorakara-chan is said to be a curious girl who has descended upon the tower from a planet called “Tongari.” She always carries a telescope in hopes of making new discoveries and wants to meet people from all over the world at the Tokyo Sky Tree…more...
According to the president of Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co., Michiaki Suzuki, “We hope people will love our mascot.” The parent company Tobu Corporation is one of the top 20 corporations of Japan and the Sky Tree’s mechant’s association represents the poorest neighborhood of Tokyo (which includes the San’ya district, Tokyo’s skidrow Wiki).
I would put my bet the blond, blue-eyed, rich girl, Sorakara-chan, to win duel of dorky mascots.
In Japan, everything has to have its own dorky Yuru-chara/mascot. Therefore of course Tokyo’s new TV tower, the “Sky Tree” (3Yen /2010-04-15) now has its own retarded mascot, “Oshinari-kun.” Wo0t!
… squeals of delight from the gathering crowd…Oshinari-kun is one of the mascots that have been created throughout Japan for local revitalization and other purposes… His appearance is loosely based on Ariwara no Narihira, a poet from the Heian Period (794-1185) whom the Narihirabashi area was named after. Oshinari-kun wears a tower-shaped hat.
Alternatively, you could think at the Sky Tree in a different way: It’s Japan’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s second tallest free-standing broadcast tower—Yeah, we’re No. 2! As 3Yen contributor, “Catoneinutica” quipped: “Japan: we can build really tall hideous radio towers just like the East Germans.“
East Berlin TV Tower . . . . . . . vs . . . . . . . . . . . Tokyo Sky Tree. . . . . . . . . . . . .
According to the video the antlered mascot is “Napo-kun”—“Na” is short for Nara the ancient capital of Japan, “Po” is short for police and “kun” is the honorific for boy like the archaic use of Master in English as the opposite of Miss.
Napo-kun’s unfortunate antlers come from his “boss,” the the Horny Buddha Boy(3yen.com 2008-09-25) on the far left named “Sento-kun.” He’s the official mascot of the 1,300th Anniversary of the Nara that is supposed to be Buddhist child monk with a rack of deer antlers sprouting from his head that, “evokes Nara’s rich Buddhist history.” Mostly folks mock Sento-kun as Japan’s dorkest “Yuru-kyara” mascots.
Yuru-kyara —“Yuru” means “loose” or “weak” and “kyara” is short for “character”— and these weak-ass characters are the loveably crappy mascots employed by most governments and local PR campaigns.
Todaiji temple in Nara Japan busts Buddha’s big bulging balls.
Japan firm recalls Buddha figure ‘with bulge’ AFP News, June 25, 2009 …
A Japanese company has reportedly agreed with an ancient temple that it would withdraw a controversial plastic figurine — a seated, grinning Buddha with a bulge between its legs… made and sold the golden-robed “Marimokkori” character around Todaiji with a tag that carried a drawing of the temple’s World Heritage-listed Great Buddha Hall.…more…
The banned balls bite the dust as the “Marimokkori” character after a request from the World Heritage temple. As you might remember, the 3Yen has previously covered the popular Marimo balls in our report, Captain Hard-on of Hokkaido.
It’s hard to understand why in the first place they gave a big bulbous bulge to the Buddha statue. The Marimokkori character originated in far north of Japan on Hokkaido island and the Todaiji temple is in the middle of Japan on the main island.
The distance and relationship is like the National Cathedral in Washington DC selling nude versions of New York’s Statue of Liberty in its souvenir gift shop.
“Sento-kun” is the horny Buddha spokesboy for the ancient capital of Nara, Japan.
The horny Buddha Boy is the mascot character of the 1300th anniversary and his Welcome Hand symbolizes a, ” relief of people’s fears.”