Narita's Unari-kun named mascot of 2017

/ | Nov 25, 2017

Narita's Unari-kun named mascot of 2017

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Unari-kun, the official mascot of Narita City in Chiba Prefecture, defeated 1,157 rivals from localities nationwide to win this year's Yuru-kyara Grand Prix title. Chiryuppi of Chiryu, Aichi Prefecture, and Torai-kun of Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, took second and third spots, respectively. Unari-kun is the special ...

Shimane mascot boasts rice paddy art

Aug 20, 2014

Shimane mascot boasts rice paddy art

While there are many "yuru-kyara" mascots created to promote prefectures and municipalities nationwide, the one for Shimane Prefecture has grabbed public attention as rice-paddy art. Shimanekko, a cat mascot with the roof of the renowned Izumo Taisha shrine on top of its head, has been ...

Kumamon, governor tickle the ivies

Nov 13, 2013

Kumamon, governor tickle the ivies

Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima on Tuesday took Kumamon to Harvard to give a lecture at one of America's most prestigious universities on how the cuddly black bear mascot has helped "maximize the overall happiness" of the prefecture's residents. Later at Fenway Park in nearby Boston, ...

Popularity contest afoot between local mascots

Nov 23, 2011

Popularity contest afoot between local mascots

A bear and a bird, of sorts, are in a dead heat in an online popularity contest between some 350 local mascots from across Japan. Created by local governments and businesses to attract tourists and invigorate their communities, these characters, known as "yuru-kyara" (literally, "loose ...