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…
Okazaemon: Both Creepy and Cute? New City Mascot For Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
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:
Comments from Hamusoku.com:
Looks like something out of a dream www
No way, that thing is scary!
(*´ω`*) It’ll definitely get popular!
Looks like a cockroach from the manga Terra Formars.
This… is bad.
I feel like I can sense his insanity….
What the hell is this Σ(￣□￣;)!!
Genuinely freaked out by this wwwwwww
Comments from Twitter:
If this came running up to me, I’d cry wwwww
New cult!! www. Looks like it’s going to call down UFOs www
No choice but to go to Okazaki now.
He looks like me.
If I saw this at night, I’d die…
All I can think is that someone from one of Okazaki’s rival towns must have submitted this design…
He’s wearing regular sneakers! At least do something about that www
If this is the PR for the Aichi Triennale, maybe I shouldn’t go? w