‘Creepy-Cute’ Mascot Fills Netizens With Horror and Delight

Okasaki mascot 'Okasaemon' relaxes at home.

Okasaki mascot ‘Okasaemon’ relaxes at home.

Just last week we saw the introduction of governmental ‘yuru-kyara’ ['relaxing character'] mascots in the form of a cartoon Abe and Ishiba, and now netizens are talking about the new ‘yuru-kyara’ mascot for Okazaki city in Aichi Prefecture.

The new character, known as ‘Okazaemon’, has filled netizens with a mixture of horror and delight, and photographs of the mascot soon started trending online, accompanied by articles in major newspapers.

Okazaemon certainly is an interesting choice as a mascot to promote a city, but it seems as though the local council might have struck gold with their ‘creepy-cute’ combo character…

From Asahi.com:


Okazaemon: Both Creepy and Cute? New City Mascot For Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture

<p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span title="チラシを配り、「あいちトリエンナーレ」をPRする「オカザえもん」=岡崎城">Okazaemon hands out leaflets for the Aichi Triennale at Okazaki Castle.</span></p>

 

Okazaemon hands out leaflets for the Aichi Triennale at Okazaki Castle.

A new mascot was chosen for Okazaki (Aichi prefecture) on April 1st as part of efforts to promote the city’s arts and culture. The new mascot, referred to as ‘yuru-kyara’ in Japanese, is called ‘Okazaemon’ and will be used as part of the PR for the upcoming Aichi Triennale 2013, scheduled to be held in Okazaki from August 10th to October 27th.

Okazaemon was created by the contemporary artists Sai and Koheita, both originally from nearby Nisshin, who entered the character as an exhibition in last year’s art festival. Okazaemon’s face resembles the character 岡 (oka), whilst the character 崎 (zaki) appears on his chest; the two characters together spell out the city’s name in Japanese. Okazaemon’s surreal image has lead to him becoming a trending topic online. The city’s mayor, Yasuhiro Uchida, described Okazaemon as Okazaki’s Minister for Arts Promotion, even going so far as to present him with a formal letter of appointment at Okazaki Castle as people who had gathered for cherry blossom viewing there looked on. As Okazaemon walked around the grounds handing out leaflets for the arts festival, the general consensus seemed to be that “he freaks me out, but somehow he’s also really cute.”

Pictures from Hamusoku.com:

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-01

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okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-03

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-04

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-05

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-06

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-07

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-09

okazaemon-yuru-kyara-japan-10

Comments from Hamusoku.com:

ハムスター名無し:

Looks like something out of a dream www

ハムスター名無し:

No way, that thing is scary!

ハムスター名無し:

(*´ω`*) It’ll definitely get popular!

ハムスターちゃんねる:

Looks like a cockroach from the manga Terra Formars.

ハムスターちゃんねる:

This… is bad.

ハムスター名無し:

I see they’ve included the recent trend of centering the parts of the face in the middle. Photo 4: his hand is sticking out!! wwwwwww his hand wwwwwwwww

ハムスターちゃんねる:

I feel like I can sense his insanity….

ハムスターちゃんねる:

What the hell is this Σ( ̄□ ̄;)!!

ハムスターちゃんねる:

Genuinely freaked out by this wwwwwww

ハムスターちゃんねる:

I want a picture of Okazaemon with Sadoko [from Ring]

Comments from Twitter:

桜花:

If this came running up to me, I’d cry wwwww

Masato Iwamoto:

New cult!! www. Looks like it’s going to call down UFOs www

ロンパクリアしたい漣:

No choice but to go to Okazaki now.

わろすオブジョイトイ(大人ノ玩具):

He looks like me.

どろ@あばよ!:

If I saw this at night, I’d die…

Hiroshi_nhat_YOSHIWO:

All I can think is that someone from one of Okazaki’s rival towns must have submitted this design…

タマちゃん@がんばらない:

He’s wearing regular sneakers! At least do something about that www

Kenji Shimizu:

If this is the PR for the Aichi Triennale, maybe I shouldn’t go? w

Y-I全原発即廃炉!再稼働絶対反対!:

I like it! ww Go Okazaemon! ww

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  • Ruaraidh

    What is it about the Japanese people and mascots? It’s totally infantile.

    • bluesummers

      I think you mean totally FRIKKIN AWESOME!

    • thetemple

      What do you mean. The West does it too. We have our mascots in sports and mascots for brands/companies too.

      How is the mascot any more different other than it being ugly and horrible.

      • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

        But does America have mascots for cities and online websites?

        I mean, the only American website that does mascots (that i can think of) is Reddit.

      • Ruaraidh

        Have you been to Japan? I seems like every single company out there has its own bizarre anime mascot. Also I’m not American, over here the mascot thing in sport isn’t really done, and only some children’s food products have mascots.

      • PixelPulse

        Its more of logo + slogans then mascots in America, like Nike’s check sign or Mcdonalds giant M. None of them really have actual designed mascots outfits that people dress up in except for a very few that are aimed at kids.

      • Lulu

        So…in Japan, do the sport teams try to kidnap or kick their rival team’s mascot?

    • tonkotsu

      cultural differences, yea, they exist.

  • hun

    Stick with pikachu and godzilla..

  • Flora

    For once, Japanese commenters manage to make me laugh! ^-^

    But seriously, that thing is pretty…..”interesting”.

    • Lulu

      I think it’s cute as long as we are separated by a computer monitor, but much like a swarm of colourful beetles, I would scream if I see that in real life.

  • Guest

    at lea

  • Whirly Pop

    well i know okazaki now

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