Japanese Mascots Gone Wild: Yuru Chara Grand Prix

Japanese Mascots have gone wild all over Japan! There are literally thousands of them representing local towns and areas, cities, government agencies, banks, products – even prisons! Japanese mascots are called “yuru chara” in Japan and there are certain guidelines to become one:

1) The character must convey a love for the local area or hometown
2) Character movements or behavior should be unique, unstable or awkward
3) They should also be YURUI meaning unsophisticated, laid-bak – and absolutely lovable!

In this episode, John Daub travels to Shizuoka to attend the 2015 Yuruchara Grand Prix held in Hamamatsu city.
1727 mascots were entered. In the first Yuru Chara Grand Prix in 2010, only 169 mascots were entered so there’s been an explosion of characters!

How much money do Japanese mascots generate for Japan?
In 2012, the strongest year for yuru chara growth, they generated US$16B.

URL:
Yuru Chara Grand Prix
http://www.yurugp.jp/
Won won? The Japanese Mascot ranking for 2015:
http://www.yurugp.jp/vote/result_ranking.php

Yonago City Tourism (Yonegees)
http://www.city.yonago.lg.jp/yonegees/

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Creator and Producer 「ONLY in JAPAN」
President of Weblish Media Ltd.
Reporter for NHK World "Tokyo Eye"
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