10 Japanese Mascots You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

In Japan, almost every city, town, company, or even local event, has its own mascot. Some mascot characters like Rilakkuma or Domo-kun have become household names in Japan, but the vast majority of characters aren’t widely known outside of their local area. There are thousands of different mascots, and some are incredibly strange! You won’t believe these 10 bizarre mascots that actually exist in Japan.

Mascots in Japan

Japanese refer to these original mascots as yuru-chara (yuru kyara, ゆるキャラ). Yuru-chara is a category of mascot characters that are usually created to promote a place or region, event, organization or business. They are characterized by their cute and/or unusual designs, and often incorporate elements that represent their local culture, history or product.

These kinds of mascots are often created by local government or other local organizations to increase awareness and promote tourism, or even created by a company to build on their brand identity. They may even take on a 3-D form and appear as costumed characters at promotional events and festivals.

The creation and promotion of Yuru-chara themed items has become a popular business, with sales over $16 billion in Japan a year.

Top 10 Most Unusual Mascots

1. Kappa Dator (カッパデター)

Photos: Mondo Mascots

Kappadator or Kappa Dator is the mascot of Proton Toys. This character has quite an interesting backstory: he is originally from the Milky Way, but was sent on a mission to invade Earth. When he entered the atmosphere, everything he owned burned, and he lost all of his possessions. He requested to receive furniture from a secret society, but they sent him toys by mistake. He then became addicted to toys, especially mini cars, and was unable to complete his mission.

Official Website

2. Hapisu ( ハピス)

Hapisu is a happy sun with a unique multi-colored haircut. He is the mascot …continue reading