Online campaign begins to pick most popular local Japanese monster


An ad agency is running an online campaign to select the most popular local monster from the nation’s 47 prefectures to raise money for reforestation and environmental conservation.

Website visitors donate money to their favorite monster’s total when on the “Gotochi Kaiju” (local monster) website ( The monster with the most money collected will be declared the winner of the competition, with part of the money being used to support environmental efforts in each prefecture.

The advertising agency, Dai-Ichi Tsushinsha Inc., launched the project using a crowdfunding model to drive contributions to local communities, while promoting the local monsters.

The monsters have been designed based on local specialties or tourist attractions. For example, Akita Prefecture’s monster, “Tamagura,” is inspired by the Tamagawa hot spring in the city of Senboku.

The monster that brings in the highest donation total will be used as a character for a smartphone game. The campaign runs until Dec. 18.

Patrons who contribute are to be gifted various items, depending on the amount of their donation. Rewards include monster badges and T-shirts with a monster print. Those who donate ¥100,000 ($811) will get a monster figurine and specialties from the prefecture they vote for.