Whilst travelling up and down Japan, you really become to appreciate it’s uniqueness, be it the local dialect, the food or the climate. However there was was consistent thing that I kept bumping in to no matter where I went…and that was Kumamon!
Little did I know that this character had become Japan’s favourite prefecture mascot. He (or is it a She?) appears on hundreds of products ranging from sweets and snacks to stationery and toys!
Kumamon started out by being a promoter for the new Kyushu train station on Japan’s southwestern Kyushu island. ‘Kuma’ which is the first part of Kumamoto, meaning bear and ‘mon’ means ‘things’ in the local dialect.
So what does Kumamon do? Like most of Japan’s mascots, Kumamon helps collect taxes, promote tourism in the region and help raise awareness in environmental issues. I wonder if something like this would work for my county Yorkshire?
Just in case Kumamon hasn’t grown on you yet, check this video out!!
I love how it says “For the sake of this country” (Nihon no tame ne日本のために) towards the end.