Lady Hebe promotional character intrigues Japan

Kyodo

A new character representing the city of Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, has come under the public spotlight along with the city’s campaign to promote a local delicacy, the “hebesu” citrus fruit.

Named after American pop singer Lady Gaga, Lady Hebe entertains the public wearing a green body stocking, a huge pillow resembling the fruit on her head and smiling from behind a big pair of sunglasses.

Lady Hebe made her debut last October and has since been promoting and selling Hyuga’s produce at local festivals and city events.

“The hebesu of Hyuga are great to use as a dressing on food, but beer with squeezed hebesu juice also tastes delicious,” Lady Hebe boasts, leaving customers and visitors intrigued about her true identity, which remains unclear.

According to information disclosed by Lady Hebe herself, however, the performer is “eternally 28 years old and my bra size is G.”

Although the character was originally introduced as a “hebesu fairy,” a positive character designed to popularize the region’s fruits, Lady Hebe’s unique style and outfit have given her a reputation as “a specter of hebesu.”

According to the agricultural cooperative JA Hyuga, although the hebesu closely resembles other Japanese citrus fruits such as Tokushima’s “sudachi” or Oita’s “kabosu,” its profile is still low.

To raise the popularity of hebesu, the association intends to continue using Lady Hebe’s image.

“I’d like to meet Lady Gaga in person and present her with hebesu,” said Lady Hebe. “It would be the best way to promote the fruit.”