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Mascot Fail


If ever there was an organization in need of an international focus group, it would be the association in charge of coming up with a mascot to promote the products of poor beleaguered Fukushima. When I first saw this, I thought it was a colossal internet trolling! I mean, after suffering one of the grandest nuclear fu*kups of all time, who in their right mind would name their mascot this? Sadly, however, I discovered they’re not alone among Japanese business boosters in adopting a character that somehow falls short of appealing,  trade-enhancing cuteness…

“Mari Mokkori” was named after a local Hokkaido algae, but most regrettably is also slang for, er, a bulge in the pants. Which, as you can see, was not lost on the costume designer.
Blood-kun carries around a backpack full of blood to encourage people to donate. I seriously did NOT make this up.
I don’t know which is scarier – the Melon Bear big-headed mascot costume or the grandma peeking out from between the jaws of the Melon Bear suit. I think I will give a wide berth to Yubari City in Hokkaido…
And last, but certainly not least, The Honorable Duck Butt Of Sugamo. You can pet it and have your picture taken with it on the street known as The Grandma and Grandpa’s Harajuku in Tokyo.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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